About Smekens

About Smekens

Smekens Education Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of staff development and professional resources to K-12 schools in the Midwest and beyond. Specializing in the areas of reading and writing, our training team is best known for showing teachers how to apply research-based literacy strategies in ways that are practical and effective. For more than a decade, Smekens Education has been supporting schools with customized on-site professional development and regional workshops.


With webPD, Smekens training is accessible online through an ever-growing selection of professional development videos for reading and writing instruction.
 


Our online bookstore, The Literacy Store, features thousands of titles, including professional books, children's books, and other classroom resources.
 

Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, to find out how Smekens Education can customize on-site solutions for your school or district.
 

Training Team


Lead Consultant
Kristina is a highly sought after speaker and author who works with K-12 teachers sharing practical strategies for teaching writing, reading comprehension, and vocabulary development. She is a certified 6-Traits trainer and author of several books, including Launching the Writer's WorkshopThe Trait Mate6-Traits Starter Lessons, and the Writing Parent Pack. Her presentations have helped to motivate teachers for more than 10 years.
Learn More About Kristina | Email Kristina
 

Literacy Consultant
Courtney taps into her own classroom experience as a middle school language arts teacher as she guides K-12 teachers toward effective instruction in reading and writing. She has presented to schools and districts throughout the Midwest and Canada where she has helped teachers apply research-based strategies in the classroom. Courtney is a dynamic presenter whose practical strategies resonate with teachers across the K-12 spectrum.
Learn More About Courtney | Email Courtney
 

Literacy Consultant
Kristi wore many hats in public schools for 13 years before joining Smekens Education full time. Her training as a Reading Recovery® teacher and Literacy Coordinator allows Kristi to offer classroom teachers practical ideas that are rooted in research. Kristi is passionate about helping teachers implement a balanced literacy approach focused on real-life, purposeful literacy activities that result in improved student achievement.
Learn More About Kristi | Email Kristi
 

 

Professional Development Specialists

Brady Smekens
Director of Professional Development
Brady brings more than a decade of experience as a teacher and administrator to his role as Director of Professional Development for Smekens Education.
Email Brady
 

Professional Development Specialist
Michele supports schools by helping to arrange both webPD and on-site professional development. Her mix of experiences in both the classroom and the business world make her a perfect fit for this key role.
Email Michele
 
 
 

Customer Support Team

Courtney Minniear
Workshop  Registration Coordinator
If you call Smekens Education, chances are you'll talk to Lisa. She's on the front lines helping customers with workshop registration, graduate credit, and more. 
Email Lisa
 

The Literacy Store Coordinator
When it comes to books and other classroom resources, Courtney is your go-to gal. Aside from managing the online bookstore, she also assists customers with custom title searches, specialized school quotes, and more.
Email Courtney
 

Office Assistant
Drew's background in retail sales has made him a real asset at Smekens where he assists with workshop preparation, warehouse management, data scrubbing, and more.
Email Drew
 
 

Content Development Team


Videographer
Most of the time, Jeff can be found behind either a tripod or an editing screen. As our full-time videographer, Jeff applies years of experience in media technology to his work shooting and editing video for webPD.
Email Jeff
 

Literacy Specialist
A diverse background in education and publishing helps Liz assist teachers at every level. She oversees the Idea Library and assists our consultants with research and development of new ideas.
Email Liz
 

Project Manager
With a background in newspaper design, Kara is both creative and organized. She applies these skills to new publishing projects that are always "in the works” at Smekens Education.
Email Kara