Laura Beltchenko is a thirty-four year veteran educator. Her career in public education includes classroom teacher, reading specialist, as well as district level administration. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Reading and Language Arts Department and a member of the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books at National Louis University in Illinois. She is committed to the professional development of teachers as they use children’s literature as a vehicle to support literacy development.
She was awarded the Illinois North Suburban Library System Library Advocate of the Year for her advocacy of school and public libraries and was also named the Lake County Illinois Innovative Educator by the Illinois Principals Association. As an advocate for literacy development of teachers and administrators, she held the post of president of the Illinois Suburban Council of the International Reading Association for four years.
Laura is an invited presenter at state and national conventions on topics such as balanced literacy, gifted education, children’s literature and continually studies and presents on the English Language Arts Common Core Standards. Her chapter, discussing the messages that illustrations and text send in picture books, is in the book Accelerating and Extending Literacy for Diverse Students.