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Advocating for minds that learn differently®


Winston's 31st Annual Learning Symposium, "Reading, Speech, and Language" presented by Dr. Carol Tolman, will be held Virtually on Saturday, January 30, 2021.

Keynote Lecture: "Reading, Speech, and Language" by Dr. Carol Tolman
Missing Links

Language Structures & Verbal Reasoning during Close Reading

Join Dr. Tolman as she unpacks two important, yet often ignored, components of reading comprehension: Language structures and verbal reasoning. Participants will experience the impact of syntax and sentence structure on their ability to understand what is read. Additionally, the importance of text cohesion will be discussed, along with how best to prepare students when reading texts that may not be locally or globally coherent for the reader. 

Carol Tolman, Ed.D, was awarded a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a concentration in literacy and has been a consultant at the state, district, and school levels for over 15 years. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Tolman was a classroom teacher and Special Educator with more than 25 years of experience in public schools at the elementary and secondary levels. She spent 12 of those years designing and implementing an innovative, exemplary reading clinic for academically challenged middle and high school students. 

In addition to spearheading many successful, long-term literacy initiatives throughout the country, Dr. Tolman has published Working Smarter, Not Harder: What Teachers of Reading Need to Know and Be Able to Do and The Relationship between Teacher Knowledge and Effective RtI: When we Know Better, we Do Better (IDA Perspectives). Carol is co-author of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Presenter’s Kits, co-author of LETRS Modules 1, 2nd Edition, co-author of LETRS Module 10, 2nd Edition, and co-author with Dr. Louisa Moats of the LETRS 3rd Edition series of text and on-line supports for teachers of reading and spelling. Dr. Tolman has presided over the LETRS Leadership Board, created LETRS On-Line, and provides LETRS Trainer of Trainer (TOT) workshops to prepare others for the rigorous study involved in becoming a Certified Local LETRS Trainer. Dr. Tolman has presented internationally in China and Australia and is passionate about the importance of empowering teachers with the knowledge necessary to impact change for all children.

Presented Virtually through a private video link with a Live Chat to formulate questions.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Carol Tolman

Click here to download the 31st Annual Learning Symposium brochure


  Dr. Hougen - Dr. Haynes Smith
The Science of Reading in the Elementary Classroom

Presented by Dr. Marty Hougen and Dr. Heather Haynes Smith

 The "Science of Reading" is based on four decades of research on how we learn to read. Understanding the science of reading is essential in the elementary classroom, where students learn the essential components of reading. This session will provide a brief overview of the science of reading in Texas, including the five essential components of reading and features of effective instruction. The presenters will describe important, reading related policies in Texas House Bill 3 including the Texas Teacher Reading Academies and how the research and policies can support elementary teachers in the design and delivery instruction informed by the science of reading. This session will be of interest to parents, administrators, related service providers, and educators.

Dr. Hougen supports educators in the implementation of the science of reading and teaching to improve student achievement. She led the Higher Education Collaborative at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, The University of Texas at Austin, and continued supporting educator preparation programs on a national scale with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development (CEEDAR Center) at the University of Florida. Currently she is a national consultant collaborating with state leadership and institutes of higher education to improve educator preparation, and she serves on the board of The Center for Effective Reading Instruction. Dr. Hougen authored numerous professional publications and three textbooks: The Fundamentals of Literacy Assessment & Instruction, Pre-K-6, 1st and 2nd editions (Hougen & Smartt, 2012, 2020) and The Fundamentals of Literacy Assessment & Instruction, 6-12 (Hougen, 2014).

Heather Haynes Smith, PhD is an Associate Professor at Trinity University. She teaches courses on learning disabilities, reading, and special education. She supports equity and reading initiatives locally and nationally through service to community and educational organizations including the International Council on Learning Disabilities, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County Successful Students Impact Council, Compassionate San Antonio Initiative, SA Reads Board, Empatico Grant, and on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Winston School of San Antonio. Before completing her doctorate she worked as an elementary teacher, K-12 literacy coach, state level reading technical assistance specialist, reading and teacher preparation program coordinator on research and dissemination grants at The University of Texas, Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts, and was a doctoral fellow at The University of Kansas, Beach Center on Disabilities.

This pre-recorded 30-minute video presentation will be available on Monday, January 25, 2021 • 8:00 a.m - Recorded Session - Watch on your own time!

Challenging Our Assumptions Around Student Self-Advocacy for Struggling Readers

Presented by Terrie Noland, CALP - Doctoral Candidate, Ph.D. in Literacy 

Let’s face it- school is hard for a struggling reader and sometimes just downright awkward. Layer on a national pandemic and the depth of both educator and student emotion, stress and anxiety intensifies. Students are finding it hard to find their voice and may not be well equipped to advocate for their needs in this world that fluctuates every day. When both students and educators had to make massive shifts this year to adapt to a new type of learning, it is evident that educators need to challenge assumptions of what it means to equip struggling readers to be self-advocates. This session will shed light on:

  • Understanding the brain changes that affect student capacity to self-advocate
  • Considering the monumental impact of modeling and relationship building
  • Equipping students to find their voice

Terrie Noland, CALP - Doctoral Candidate, Ph.D. in Literacy - Vice President of Educator Initiatives

Listen. Learn Teach. Terrie uses this philosophy as an innovator and a motivator, and it's evident as she leads, coaches and mentors thousands of K-12 educators about the science of reading each year.  She has a unique perspective on the need to unify all stakeholders around a vision for education to smash the reading divide for the millions of struggling readers. Her daily mission is to add value to educators to help influence transformational changes in school districts across the country by addressing the needs of marginalized students.  Terrie seeks to share her expertise and passion, to encourage, and to illuminate a path towards success and measurable outcomes.

If you looked at Terrie's resume, you would be confused.  Her undergraduate and graduate degree work placed her in the field of criminal justice.  However, it was through continuous listening and learning that led her on a journey in education starting out in Preschool teaching and administration, then becoming a Certified Academic Language Practitioner, and currently working towards a Ph.D. in Literacy and Educational Leadership from St. John's University. Terrie is also a John Maxwell certified speaker and coach.
As Vice-President of Educator Initiatives at Learning Ally, she works to ignite enthusiasm and excitement by building champion educators and administrators on creating cultures of literacy and learning.

This pre-recorded 30-minute video presentation will be available on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 • 8:00 a.m - Recorded Session - Watch on your own time!

Julie HansonDyslexia and Improving Reading Comprehension

Presented by Julie Hanson, M.Ed.

Improving reading comprehension begins with identifying the underlying factors that may be contributing to comprehension struggles. This session will provide an overview of the many factors that impact reading comprehension, including the factors that most frequently impact students with Dyslexia, and will provide recommendations for improving reading comprehension.

Ms. Hanson received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Education in Special Education with a focus in Assessments from Texas A&M University San Antonio. Ms. Hanson is trained as an educational diagnostician and is a Certified Academic Language Therapist.

Ms. Hanson has been at Winston since 2008 and previously taught in Northside ISD and Boerne ISD. She has taught Lower School Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Computer as well as Middle School Reading, Language Arts, and American History, and Upper School English. Ms. Hanson was a part-time professor in Trinity University’s Education Department and previously served on the International Dyslexia Association board. Ms. Hanson has also worked in Guatemala with Food for the Hungry as the Director of Communications in their Child Sponsorship Program.

This pre-recorded 30-minute video presentation will be available on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 • 8:00 a.m - Recorded Session - Watch on your own time!

Maximizing the Power of Technology: Applications and Best Practices for Reading Instruction

Presented by Dr. Tasha A. Vice - Assistant Professor of Literacy at Texas A&M University-San Antonio

21st-century literacies require deeper interactions with technology, including interactions that support the development of critical thinking skills. However, challenges arise from the digital divide, technology experience, and a disconnect between in-school and out-of-school practices in education. In this session, the speaker relays research-based best practices for reading instruction and the applications that make it possible to support teacher instruction and students’ learning in reading.

Tasha Vice, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Literacy at A&M- San Antonio. Vice studied Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy at Texas Tech University. Her research includes promoting students' resilience and mindfulness/awareness of the learning processes necessary for reading achievement, creative writing practices for secondary learners, and digital literacy practices.

This pre-recorded 30-minute video presentation will be available on Thursday, January 28, 2021 • 8:00 a.m - Recorded Session - Watch on your own time!

Friday, January 29, 2021, 4:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m.
Live Session — 20-minute Q&A with the Breakout Session Presenters
We will send you the schedule for these sessions on Friday, January 22, 2021

Click here to download the 31st Annual Learning Symposium brochure

Each year, the Winston School San Antonio and MSAC work diligently to plan Winston's Learning Symposium—an educational event that provides the community with access to cutting-edge research and tools to help educate students with learning differences.

The Symposium allows us to extend Winston’s reach by providing important information to parents, education professionals, and others from across the state. Each year, the event features a nationally-renowned professional and breakout sessions hosted by a select group of local professionals. 

Continuing Education credits available for teachers, counselors, and social workers. 


Recap: Winston's 30th Annual Learning Symposium


"Fostering Resilient Learners" presented by Kristin Souers, M.A.

took place on January 24, 2020 at The Winston School San Antonio.

Videos & Handouts for all of the Symposium sessions are available now

To see presentations from previous years, please click here.