Winans sends a Literacy Team to the Big Sky Literacy Conference

Kicking off the year in the Livingston Public Schools, four teachers and the Principal from B.A. Winans Primary School will soon be presenting master classes in reading instruction at the Big Sky Literacy Summit, a national conference held in Big Sky, Montana September 8-10.  They will be sharing their expertise in teaching students to read along with a world-class lineup of speakers. 

The focus of the Summit is addressing the Science of Reading (SOR) through the perspectives of teachers, scientists, and translators of SOR.  After a year of school visitations to Winans by schools around the area, teachers received invitations to speak at the conference this past summer.

First-grade teachers Dorothy Jett, Tawnya Hawkins, and Nickie Dubbs will present “Our Journey:  A Path to Structured Literacy.”  They will share their story and the realities of shifting to the SOR over the past five years, including the challenges and celebrations of making impactful decisions to increase student achievement.

Together, the first-grade team has transformed their reading instruction and seen the number of students making gains in reading rise.   As a team, they are dedicated to helping other teachers fine-tune their literacy practices.

Ashlie Sarah Slunaker, reading specialist and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Coordinator at Winans, is to cover the topic of “The Strugglers Amongst Us:  Identifying and Supporting Readers in the K-2 Classroom.”  Currently, Mrs. Slunaker is responsible for implementing and monitoring a comprehensive three-tiered program of academic and behavioral interventions for students at Winans.  She will share her prescriptive model for reading intervention that has transformed student growth trajectories.  She will be focusing on how to accurately identify, remediate, and monitor students’ specific reading needs.    

Principal Patti Durgan is to share leadership tips in her seminar titled, “Leadership Matters:  Leading an Elementary School into the Science of Reading.”  Patti will speak to an audience about leading with a compassionate heart.  With grit and tenacity, she has brought her team to new levels of awareness which has resulted in notable staff and student growth. Through her literacy leadership, B.A. Winans Primary School has become an exemplary structured literacy school that continues to improve its work to have better outcomes for students.


For additional information, contact:

Ashlie Slunaker, Reading Specialist & MTSS Coordinator                 604-853-4818

Patti Durgan, Winans Principal & Literacy Project Director              406 223-4096

Lynne Scalia, Superintendent                                                                     406-581-5969