English teacher Jill Dougherty not only improves literacy skills among her ninth graders at Springfield High School in Springfield, but also helps fellow teachers in other disciplines use literacy to enhance their curriculum. An expert in adolescent literacy and a member of Springfield's Freshman Academy, Dougherty provides students with research-based reading strategies, including a student research journal that teaches independent research skills using online sources and self-selected topics related to content area classes. She also takes students on Saturday field trips to bookstores and buys them books that interest them. Dougherty initiated a successful mentor reading program in which students pair with teachers to share books and discuss topics three times a week. She often uses achievement data to differentiate instruction based on individual students' needs, and was instrumental in raising state test scores in literacy aptitude among ninth graders. Dougherty is a member of the Springfield High School Rigor Committee and works at the district level as literacy leader and teacher facilitator for professional development.
1991 Pennsylvania State University, B.S.