About Smekens

About Smekens

Smekens Education Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of staff development and professional resources to K-12 schools in the Midwest and beyond. Specializing in the areas of reading and writing, our training team is best known for showing teachers how to apply research-based literacy strategies in ways that are practical and effective. For more than a decade, Smekens Education has been supporting schools with customized on-site professional development and regional workshops.

On-demand professional development videos from webPD and online video courses from webAcademy makes Smekens strategies available to all educators.

Our online bookstore, The Literacy Store, features thousands of titles, including professional books, children's books, and other classroom resources.

Contact Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, to find out how Smekens Education can customize on-site solutions for your school or district.

Training Team

Lead Consultant
Kristina is a highly sought after speaker and author who works with K-12 teachers sharing practical strategies for teaching writing, reading comprehension, and vocabulary development. She is a certified 6-Traits trainer and author of several books, including Launching the Writer's WorkshopThe Trait Mate6-Traits Starter Lessons, and the Writing Parent Pack. Her presentations have helped to motivate teachers for more than 10 years.
Learn More About Kristina | Email Kristina

Literacy Consultant
Courtney taps into her own classroom experience as a middle school language arts teacher as she guides K-12 teachers toward effective instruction in reading and writing. She has presented to schools and districts throughout the Midwest and Canada where she has helped teachers apply research-based strategies in the classroom. Courtney is a dynamic presenter whose practical strategies resonate with teachers across the K-12 spectrum.
Learn More About Courtney | Email Courtney

Literacy Consultant
Kristi wore many hats in public schools for 13 years before joining Smekens Education full time. Her training as a Reading Recovery® teacher and Literacy Coordinator allows Kristi to offer classroom teachers practical ideas that are rooted in research. Kristi is passionate about helping teachers implement a balanced literacy approach focused on real-life, purposeful literacy activities that result in improved student achievement.
Learn More About Kristi | Email Kristi


Professional Development Specialists

Brady Smekens
Director of Professional Development
Brady brings more than a decade of experience as a teacher and administrator to his role as Director of Professional Development for Smekens Education.
Email Brady

Professional Development Specialist
Michele supports schools by helping to arrange both webPD and on-site professional development. Her mix of experiences in both the classroom and the business world make her a perfect fit for this key role.
Email Michele

Customer Support Team

Courtney Minniear
Workshop  Registration Coordinator
If you call Smekens Education, chances are you'll talk to Lisa. She's on the front lines helping customers with workshop registration, graduate credit, and more. 
Email Lisa

The Literacy Store Coordinator
When it comes to books and other classroom resources, Courtney is your go-to gal. Aside from managing the online bookstore, she also assists customers with custom title searches, specialized school quotes, and more.
Email Courtney

Customer Support Specialist
Whether he's coordinating a regional workshop, or supporting teachers enrolled in Smekens Education's online professional development platforms, Drew always brings a smile and an eagerness to help. 
Email Drew

Content Development Team

Most of the time, Jeff can be found behind either a tripod or an editing screen. As our full-time videographer, Jeff applies years of experience in media technology to his work shooting and editing video for webPD.
Email Jeff

Project Manager
With a background in newspaper design, Kara is both creative and organized. She applies these skills to new publishing projects that are always “in the works” at Smekens Education.
Email Kara

Marketing Manager
With experience in sales and customer service, Greg works with the content team to expand the reach of Smekens literacy strategies by providing relevant and accessible information to educators.
Email Greg

Literacy Specialist
A diverse background in education and publishing helps Liz assist teachers at every level. She oversees the Idea Library and assists our consultants with research and development of new ideas.
Email Liz