Michelle Lambert-Yuhasz is a state literacy liaison for the Texas Literacy Initiative. Lambert-Yuhasz implements and evaluates response to intervention initiatives, including providing professional development and technical assistance on evidence-based reading instruction for public school districts across Texas and their associated early childhood education providers. She is also the project manager for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Project. This project supports and evaluates effectiveness of a scientifically based reading intervention program and supports implementation of research-based strategies for improving literacy outcomes for adolescent struggling readers in the context of junvenile correctional facilities, with an emphasis on academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs. She has served as senior field trainer/analyst for the Alice Partnership Project, providing literacy support to six elementary campuses. Prior to joining MCPER and VGC, she worked as a reading technical assistance specialist, providing professional development and technical assistance for various districts across Texas. She was also an elementary special education teacher and new teacher mentor in Texas. She earned a master of education in educational leadership and is a certified school administrator. In addition, she earned a bachelor of science in education with an emphasis in special education from the University of North Texas.
Maria Longhi is project director for the Scientific Explorers (Sci2) grant. Longhi has served as associate director of the Texas Literacy Initiative and program director of the Literacy Achievement and Reading to Learn Academies. She has provided high quality professional development and technical assistance at the state, district, and campus levels in the areas of leadership, assessment, evidence-based literacy practices, and response to intervention. With more than 20 years of experience in the field, she has worked closely with directors, administrators, literacy coaches, and teachers to build capacity and implement sustainable literacy practices. She holds an M.Ed. in elementary reading and a B.B.A. in mangement. Prior to her work at MCPER and VGC, she served for 15 years as a bilingual teacher and district literacy coach. Her interests include implementation science, teacher effectiveness, and second-language aquisition.