by Jill Haney – Author of the PCI Reading Program and Chief Product Evangelist
It’s that time of year in schools across the country. The end of the school year is a time when we reflect on all we and our students have learned and accomplished. As a mom, I’m marveling at the fact that my son’s kindergarten celebration is this week and my daughter’s 2nd grade slide show is next week. The year has gone by so fast. With benchmarks and other tests behind them, teachers and students are planning a variety of ways to celebrate the community of learning they have become during this school year.
As a student, I always loved the end-of-the-year awards assemblies. Awards give us a chance to recognize outstanding achievements, hard work, perfect attendance, and excellent citizenship. I’ve discovered that my children’s school does an amazing job including all students in the end-of-the-year slide shows and celebrations. My daughter is in a regular education 2nd grade classroom. My son is in a self-contained setting with some inclusion opportunities during the day. But I know I will see both in their grade level slide shows in the coming week. And, like any proud mom, I will cheer seeing them laughing and learning.
At PCI, we find ourselves looking back on the past year and assessing what we’ve accomplished as well. Just a few weeks ago, we learned that three of the products we published in 2010 have been named finalists for Association of Educational Publisher (AEP) awards. PCI Reading Program Levels One and Two Software has been named a finalist for the celebrated Golden Lamp award and for a Distinguished Achievement Award. PCI Reading Program Comprehension Activities has been named a finalist for a Distinguished Achievement Award. And Real-World Vocabulary has been named a finalist for a Distinguished Achievement Award and an Innovation Award.
I will attend the AEP awards ceremony in Washington D.C. June 8, and I will be cheering there too. It is a joy to see the “best of the best” curriculum and learning tools get well-deserved recognition. Even better is the fact that the award finalists and winners are all chosen by educators in the field, who recognize the kind of high quality teaching and learning materials we need in our schools.
Awards do give us a sense of accomplishment. So do stories of how something we’ve done has touched someone else and made a difference. Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Council for Exceptional Children conference. One of the best moments was seeing one of the student “Yes I Can” Award winners stop by the PCI booth, point to the PCI Reading Program, and say, “That’s my reading program.” My co-author, Janie Hohlt, and I were honored to take a picture with this award-winning student. Seeing that smile on her face as she held up her favorite book meant the world to us.
Happy end of school year to all of you! Thank you for all you do every day to help all students achieve in school, at home, and in the community.
Jill’s responsibilities include managing the development of proprietary reading curriculums, training customers on PCI’s reading curriculums and other proprietary products, conceptualizing new products, writing sales and marketing literature related to the reading curriculums, staying current on reading and other educational research, overseeing the research conducted on PCI’s products, and staying current on federal and state legislation related to education.
Prior to her career with PCI Education, she was a national reading consultant and a seventh grade reading teacher. In 1999, she was named Teacher of the Year for San Antonio ISD and won the Trinity Prize for Teaching. Haney earned a BA with honors and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Trinity University in San Antonio. She has additional graduate reading hours from University of Texas San Antonio.