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The Educators Voice

In The Educators Voice podcast, we purpose to bring the voice of the educator to the forefront. As we are preparing for the upcoming elections, we’ll be talking about The Educators’ Voice and Advocacy through Voting. In the UEA studio, we have with us Kaylan Dixon Smith, who is the Dallas Advocacy Director with Raise Your Hand Texas (RYHT), and Dr. Pearl Garden, a Literacy Coach and Chair-Elect for Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE). Both guests advocate for public education and educators and have a heart for ensuring quality education for all students. Join us as we explore educators, advocacy, voting, and steps to effect change.

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Pearl Garden, Ed.D. is a Literacy Coach at Region 10 Education Service Center working with TEA (HB3) Reading Academies. Her 23 years of service include elementary classroom instruction, teacher education, and Adjunct Professorships at Paul Quinn College and Texas A&M – Commerce. Dr. Garden has published an article in The Journal of Teacher Action Research and is the author of a blog entitled Literacy Pearls where she shares best practices and "pearls" of literacy knowledge. Dr. Garden's research involves developing the vocabulary instruction practices of early grade teachers. She has a passion for the new and novice educator, and it is her goal to help educators tackle the achievement gap with her research findings.

Kaylan Dixon Smith joined the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation in fall 2019 as the regional advocacy director for Dallas County. Kaylan hails from Dallas and attended schools there and in Mesquite. She received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Fisk University and a Master of Education in administration from Lamar University. She is pursuing a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Texas – Dallas College of Law.

Kaylan returned home to serve students in the Dallas Independent School District for almost 10 years. After college, she joined Teach for America and taught kindergarten through 3rd grade before transitioning to facilitator for the Teacher Excellence Initiative. She continued her work in Dallas ISD as lead instructional specialist in the Early Learning Department and supported the Accelerating Campus Excellence initiative.

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