Co-President: Meg Racanelli

Meg is a retired reading specialist from Amherst Elementary with Amherst County Schools. She has many years of service and recently complete Orton Gillingham training. She has been involved with PAC for the last five years and joined our board originally as our secretary. She's since served as Vice President and President. She will continue this year working with Courtney Bennett in the Co-Presidents role. She has two grown children and enjoys traveling and music. She will be overseeing all PAC events this year. 

Co-President: Courtney Bennett

Courtney is currently the Elementary Literacy Specialist for Lynchburg City Schools. She has been with LCS for 24 years where she has been a first grade teacher, Reading Specialist and Literacy Coach. She got her undergraduate degree from Ferrum College and Lynchburg College and her M. Ed in Reading from Lynchburg College. In all of her roles, she has supported teachers and students in the area of reading. She is very passionate about helping children become lifelong readers and learners. She also enjoys furthering her own knowledge by attending conferences and workshops that support the most current research and best practices to help teachers and students. She is trained in Orton Gillingham and believes that the multisensory approach that it uses is one of the most beneficial strategies to help students build their foundation skills in the area of reading. In her current role she is working with all of the schools to learn a new reading program and implement it well. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends playing games, relaxing by a fire pit, or visiting the beach!

Co-Vice-President: Ruth Matheny

Ruth is currently the Literacy Instructional Support Specialist and former reading specialist with Amherst County Public Schools. In these roles she has been able to support teachers with effective literacy practices that benefit every child in the development of his/her literacy skills. She is passionate about furthering her own understanding of the science of reading and its implications for literacy instruction. Ruth is eager to share this knowledge with others, as she believes strongly that well-equipped, well-supported, and well-informed teachers are our best assurance in providing students with the critical reading and writing skills needed to be productive, literate citizens. Ruth enjoys spending time with her son and husband, camping, and crafting.

Co-Vice-President: Ashley Hutchison

Ashley is a reading specialist for Amherst County Public Schools. She has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Radford University and a M.Ed. in Reading Instruction from the University of Lynchburg. Ashley has worked with students on their literacy development and built capacity in teachers in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. She is passionate about providing needs-based intervention in a systematic and explicit manner and has experience in providing structured literacy learning opportunities through the Orton Gillingham approach. Professionally, Ashley enjoys opportunities to provide literacy coaching and developing curriculum that meets the diverse needs of learners across the literacy development continuum. She also enjoys spending time with her family, including her 3 sons, husband, and small dog, Oscar.

Secretary : Caitlin Pugh

Caitlin is a two-time graduate of Lynchburg College. She received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education (K-6) in 2007 and her Master’s in Reading in 2019. She is currently a Reading Specialist at Robert S. Payne Elementary School in Lynchburg City. She has been a teacher at R.S. Payne for 14 years, teaching 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades, as well as Title 1. Caitlin received the Piedmont Area Reading Teacher of the Year in 2020. Reading is Caitlin’s passion in all aspects of her life. When not at school, she enjoys teaching dance at Forest Dance Academy as well as cooking and baking. Caitlin now serves as our Secretary for PAC and will be sending newsletters and other communications out to members and our districts.

Treasurer: Angie Kraje

Angie is a reading specialist for Bedford County Public Schools and is currently working as the SFA Facilitator at Moneta Elementary School. In this role, she enjoys supporting and coaching teachers in implementing the Success For All reading curriculum. Angie will continue as our treasurer and assist with our events. In addition to serving on the local chapter board, Angie also serves as Member-at-Large and Webmaster for the Virginia State Literacy Association. As well as a commitment to literacy, Angie has a passion for musical theatre and dance and has performed in several productions in the Lynchburg area.

Social Media Chair: Corrie Kelley

Dr. Courtneay (Corrie) Kelly will serve as the Social Media Director for PARC. She is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Lynchburg and lives in Charlottesville with her husband and Yorkie dog, Cody. She's the proud mother of a 21-year-old daughter, who is in her first year of graduate school for speech pathology, and a 19-year-old son, who is entering his second year at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

She earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education and her Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Virginia. In the education world, she has enjoyed opportunities to serve as a classroom teacher, a literacy specialist, an RtI specialist, and this will be her seventh year teaching reading and education courses at the university level. Her doctoral research focused on integrating Universal Design for Learning principles in elementary literacy lessons to serve as a framework for differentiation and to increase accessibility for all students. She has since broadened her research, and is now focusing on the use of non-linguistic visual representations as a means of assessment in college courses, as well as bridging the knowledge that educators gleaned from the Balanced Literacy movement to the newer understandings of the Science of Reading approach, which has recently gained a lot of traction in the reading world.

She enjoys bringing reading research to teaching practitioners in practical ways, and she looks forward to participating in this PAC role to do just that!

Membership Chair: Carla Fedeler

Carla is a retired reading specialist/literacy coach with 27 years of experience from Lynchburg City Schools. She currently creates literacy resources for Comprehension Connection, her online business and works as a web designer. She earned a M.Ed in Reading Education from the University of Virginia, and her instructional experiences include K-5 regular education, Title 1 Reading, and Literacy Coach. She has a deep interest in technology integration, character education, and of course, all things literacy.  

Carla has been involved with the PAC since 2015 serving as Secretary, Vice President, and President. She's now returning to serve as the membership chair. She hopes to involve area college students, homeschooling parents, private school teachers, preschool teachers, and teachers from all of our public school districts. If you have an interest in learning more about literacy instruction, becoming a member is an easy way to learn. This team of educators are here to help YOU!

Young Writers Chair: Kim Stark

Kim Stark has taught in primary classrooms in both Lynchburg City and Campbell County for a combined 23 years. She completed her Master’s of Reading Education at The University of Lynchburg and is currently serving as a Reading Specialist in Amherst County Schools. She has two children in college and loves attending sporting events and enjoying movie nights with her family. 

In her years as a classroom teacher, she has worked passionately to give her students a love of writing. She enjoys seeing the progression of literacy growth that is evidenced in their daily writing. As a classroom teacher, Kim’s students participated in PAC's Young Writer’s Contest every year. She loved seeing the excitement on their faces as their stories developed and were shared with classmates. She’s proud to say that in both her first and last years of teaching, she had a student win first place for the entire region! She hopes many students and teachers find the same joy she encountered when participating in this year's Young Writer’s Contest.

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