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Stephanie A. Romano

Stephanie taught first and second grade where creative writing was a part of the language arts curriculum. She encouraged her students to be storytellers and write their stories down; not just Stephanie, but also her students and school community heard and saw the power of their stories through their authorship. Years later, Stephanie was offered a position as a reading specialist in a public school in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her administration asked her to gain knowledge in the writing process so she could meld the reading-writing connection for her at-risk students. She participated in the Pennsylvania Writing Project at West Chester University where Jolene co-directed the project. Through her writing experiences, she realized the reciprocal relationship that writing is important to reading and reading is important to writing. As she worked with her at-risk readers and writers for over 20 years, she implemented the tools that her students needed to become more literate. Stephanie was appointed to a statewide steering committee commissioned by the governor to develop the Oral History Project, an authentic learning experience integrating the academic standards of reading, writing, speaking and listening. At the Governor’s Institutes in Pennsylvania, this project was attended by hundreds of teachers with the understanding that they would implement it in their classrooms. This project culminated in 2006 with the publishing of the book which Stephanie co-authored with colleagues Diane Skiffington Dickson, Dick Heyler, and Linda Reilly entitled The Oral History Project: Connecting Students to Their Community, Grades 4 – 8. She is the past president of the Keystone State Reading Association and is presently the editor of their newsletter, The Keystone Reader. Stephanie earned her doctorate of Education in Reading at Lehigh University and has recently retired from the Department of Reading Education at East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania.