Inspiring Educators with Strategies That Are Simple and Effective

Kristina Smekens has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with practical, demystifying strategies for teaching reading and writing.
As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, she is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards.


A Dynamic Presenter

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple—for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and practical, classroom-tested strategies that work. When she presents at state and national conferences, teachers flock to her sessions because they know Kristina will share strategies they can use in their own classrooms the very next day.
Beyond providing teachers with practical classroom techniques, Kristina is also a master of motivation. By demonstrating enthusiasm for innovation, she helps educators find the encouragement they need to return to their classrooms and execute change.

What other educators say

“Kristina is the QUEEN of making the invisible VISIBLE, and, more importantly, CONCRETE. She concretely teaches it to me so that I can teach my kids. I thought this year’s Retreat was career-changing!”
Heidi Tornquist, teacher at Elm Road Elementary School, Mishawaka, IN

“Changed my life! You are officially my hero!”
Bettnie LaRue, teacher at Paul I Miller School 114, Indianapolis, IN

“After 28 years of teaching, I have attended a lot of PD workshops. Absolutely none of them hold a candle to the Smekens workshops I have attended. Kristina is inspirational and makes me look forward to a new year!”
Carol Brown, teacher at Ankeney Middle School, Beavercreek, OH


An Accomplished Author

Well known for offering innovative ideas, Kristina has created more than 50 “Smekens Originals,” a compilation of books, guides, and classroom tools designed to help teachers implement best-practice literacy strategies. Among the most popular of these resources are her best-selling books, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2 and Grades 3-12.

Other popular publications include The Trait Mate: 6-Traits Starter Lessons, Connecting Comprehension & Composition, Sing & Comprehend, Close-Reading Questions for Literature, Close-Reading Questions for Informational Text, Trait Trackers, and Serving Up Synthesis. Additionally, Kristina is the author of Trait-Based Writing: Lessons and Activities (Scholastic, 2009).

A Crafter of Ideas

Beyond books and physical teacher tools, Kristina has also created a library of on-demand professional learning videos that are utilized by teachers around the world. With topics ranging from “Building Kid-Friendly Writing Rubrics” to “Achieving a Close Reading,” each of Kristina’s “webPD” videos uses a seminar-style format to capture her energy and enthusiasm while conveying her teacher-friendly ideas.


A Teacher from the Start

Kristina grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan where both of her parents fulfilled rewarding careers in teaching and school administration. From her early days playing teacher with her two siblings, Kristina has always been on a path to motivate and educate.

After earning her BA in English and education at Michigan State University, Kristina was an accomplished high school English and journalism teacher in Michigan and Indiana. A leader in state and national scholastic journalism endeavors, Kristina authored a journalism textbook and teachers’ guide for Walsworth Publishing in 2002.

Over the years, she has been blessed to work and learn with hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers around the globe. For her contributions to literacy in Indiana, specifically, Kristina was presented the Excellence in Reading Award by the Indiana State Reading Association in 2013.

Kristina lives in Warren, Indiana with her husband and business partner, Brady. Together, they have three young adult children who are preparing for careers in music, business, and education.

Let's Connect
Complete the form below or call (888) 376-0448. We're eager to help you achieve your professional development goals in literacy!

Kristi McCullough | Literacy Consultant
Kristina Smekens | President & Lead Consultant
Courtney Gordon | Literacy Consultant

How do I start learning from Kristina?

Driven by the desire to help teachers thrive and students succeed, Kristina is always creating new videos, lessons, articles, and workshops to share with educators.

Email Kristina

Let's Connect

Complete the form below or call (888) 376-0448. We're eager to help you achieve your professional development goals in literacy!