A dynamic presenter
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.
How to start learning from Kristina
“Kristina knocked it out of the park once again! She does the research and then takes the information and creates a usable format for teachers. Everything a teacher needs to take this right into the classroom!!”
Ruth Wiley, Curriculum Supervisor
Beavercreek City Schools, Beavercreek, OH
“I glean MORE depth of knowledge every time I am in Kristina’s presence. Her expertise is at the top of the Literacy Food Chain and YET she is the only guru that SHOWS HOW explicitly. One-of-a-kind amongst other experts.”
Beth Mouw, Teacher
“Smekens conferences are designed & led with teachers as the focus. Kristina knows us, and her enthusiasm is catching. I love all the work & research that goes into sessions beforehand, so we know we’re getting the best of.”
Crystal Merrifield, Teacher
River Valley Middle School, Jeffersonville, IN
“Kristina does such an outstanding job of getting everyone excited about such great strategies and makes sure that she introduces them in a way that makes them super practical and fun. Loved every minute!”
Candy Kramer, Principal
Sward School, Oak Lawn, IL
“Kristina is a master teacher and dynamic presenter. She’s organized and effective at sharing useful writing instruction tips & resources!”
Max Melgarejo, ELA Middle School Department Chair
Latin School of Chicago, Chicago, IL
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 her most popular resources are The Comprehension Playbook and Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2 and Grades 3-12.
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 pursuing careers in music, business, and education.