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Reading Education Student Spotlights

Our alumni hold a variety of academic and professional positions, both nationally and internationally. 
At Peabody, graduates receive academic guidance and professional development instruction, which can be used to help students inside the classroom.  Here’s what a few of our graduates have to say:

Christina Zeppos

I loved the fact that we were placed in schools throughout the entire program - it really gave me an avenue to put into practice what I was learning in class right away and not having to wait until I graduated to do that… I am currently a 3rd grade Reading and Social Studies teacher through Metro Nashville Public Schools. This program has prepared me above and beyond to teach reading and I feel confident that I can help all of my students learn to and continue to be successful at any reading level.

—Christina Zeppos , M.Ed.’15


dan-parsonsOne of my favorite aspects of the Reading Education program was the tight bond within the cohort and with the Reading Education faculty. Having this close group of peers allowed meto have a smooth transition back to graduate school. We all were very supportive of each other and always tried to acquire as much knowledge from each other to help better ourfuture practices with students. Various assignments throughout the Reading Education program involved group work, making it fundamental to collaborate and work effectively as a team. Working with the other amazing minds throughout the Reading Education program definitely was one of my favorite aspects of the reading Education program. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with the Reading Education faculty on a daily basis. Them faculty in the Reading Education program has so much insight and knowledge to offer to students at Vanderbilt. Each professor truly cares about our future practices and will do whatever they can to help ensure we are successful. They are always available to help andassist in any way possible! 
—Dan Parsons, M.Ed.’16
Read more about Dan's experience here.

ayanaFor the past 3 years, I exclusively taught math, science, and social studies in an elementary school in Nashville, and was looking for a change. One of the teachers at my current school graduated from the Reading Specialist program at Peabody several years ago and she had nothing but glowing reviews of the program, the professors, and the knowledge she gained. After listening to her discuss her experience for a whole year, while also knowing I would eventually be transferring to a more traditional self-contained classroom, I knew I wanted to go back to school and knew that Peabody was the school for me! Now that I have been a part of the program for a year, I can completely understand why she was so excited about the education she received through Peabody and why I am so excited that I have another year in the program since I continued to work as an associate teacher at the school I had been lead teaching at for the previous three years. A few of my favorite aspects of the program are the caring and constantly available professors; the flexibility that was available to me so that I could continue to work and teach; the variety of readings and discussions that take place; and the diversity of classes that we are able to take. I am so thankful that I am able to continue my professional learning at Peabody!

—  Ayana Fletcher-Tyson M.Ed. '17

Laura WilzcekI am most grateful for the energy and care my professors invested in my individual education and our program as a whole. Each of my courses was expertly designed to cover the work of pertinent scholars, as well as issues related to contemporary social and educational discourses. In addition, my professors were generous with their time outside of class, to advise and share expertise. In fact, I still correspond with many of my professors to this day. Thanks to their thoughtful guidance, I can face the many roles of my job with confidence: as a reading specialist, I assess students, interpret data, and plan meaningful interventions. As a literacy coach, I help fellow educators plan curriculum and implement best practices

Laura Wilzcek, M.Ed.’13



"The best part of the reading program was the opportunity to work one-on-one with a student who struggled with reading for an entire school year. It was so helpful to be able to apply the strategies and approaches we had been studying in our classes to our tutoring sessions, and it was also incredibly rewarding and encouraging to see the progress our students made with focused intervention over the course of the year.  As a fourth grade language arts teacher, I am constantly using what I learned in the reading program to help me to be a better and more effective teacher. Our coursework have me practical and engaging ways to help students grow as readers, writers, and thinkers."

Grace Granade, M.Ed.’14

100% of our graduates have secured a job opportunity upon graduation.

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