Working with STRIVE these past two years has been transformative for our school district in so many ways.  Three of the most noticeable areas of growth have been in our professional development, our use of data, and our improved instructional delivery.
Our Professional Development is more streamlined than it has ever been; ensuring our learning is supported and continuous between sessions.  We have aligned our instructional needs to specific and intentional PD sessions to support teacher improvements.  Using our comprehensive needs assessment to drive what our needs are, has helped determine which areas need improvement and ensures we deliver PD that develops teachers’ skills for sustainability long term.
Improving our data skills with STRIVE has given teachers the ability to own their classroom data and made data an integral part of the collaboration amongst teammates and grade-level colleagues.  Learning how to unpack our data using the focus folders, and digital data spreadsheets have changed the way our teachers use their benchmark data and has been the catalyst to improving our targeted and intensive support for student achievement.
Developing a deeper understanding of the development of foundational literacy skills as well as disciplinary literacy for secondary students has been a pedagogical shift for many of our teachers; understanding the relationships between content and delivery of explicit instruction.  Through this study, we have begun to develop teacher leaders in these areas in order to develop in-district trainers to sustain the knowledge and practices for staff long term.
We look forward to our continued partnership and for continued growth to come!


Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Laurel Public School Dist. 7 & 7-70
Debbie Hunsaker

Debbie Hunsaker, M.Ed., is the Owner and Lead Implementation Consultant of STRIVE, Inc.

STRIVE provides national consulting and professional development services focusing on improving literacy achievement. She has dedicated her career to improving teaching and learning by supporting state and federal literacy initiatives, providing curriculum development and comprehensive literacy planning support, and providing on-site school support of teachers, coaches, principals, and district leaders. Debbie and the STRIVE team have developed evidence-based trainings and professional development in the Science of Reading/Elementary Literacy Model, Disciplinary Literacy/Adolescent Literacy Model, Data Based Decision Making, Effective Coaching, and Effective Teams. Earlier in her career, Debbie was the Division Administrator for Educational Opportunity and Equity for the Montana Office of Public Instruction, which is responsible for implementing programs and resources focused on supporting schools in improving achievement, especially for disadvantaged students.

Some of the programs Debbie has directed include Reading First, Early Reading First, Title I School Support, and the Montana Comprehensive Literacy Project. Debbie is an author of the professional resource book; STRIVE’s Data System: A how-to on planning, teaching, and assessing reading groups and a children’s book, We Made Do.

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