Debbie Diller and Associates Debbie Diller and Associates
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Debbie Diller has been an educator since 1976. How time flies, and how teaching has changed! Debbie has taught PreK through 10th grade in public schools in Pennsylvania and Texas. Her experience ranges from being a classroom teacher to a Title I reading specialist to a migrant education teacher to a literacy coach, as well as a national consultant and author. She is the author of many books for Stenhouse Publishers, including Math Work Stations, Spaces & Places, Making the Most of Small Groups, Literacy Work Stations, and Practice with Purpose. She has several videos on literacy work stations and small group instruction. Debbie's most recent endeavor is the launch of Growing Independent Learners: An Online Workshop and the accompanying book, Growing Independent Learners.

Debbie has a B.S. from Millersville University and an M.Ed. from Temple University in PA. She uses her strong understandings of child development and literacy and math development to address the differentiated needs of all students in her work with teachers and administrators. Debbie builds upon current research and theory to provide practical, realistic applications in today’s classrooms.

Debbie was raised in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Lititz, PA and now lives in Houston, TX. Her family has changed and grown in recent years. Her son, Jon, and daughter, Jessica, are both married, and she has two grandchildren, Chloe and Colton. Debbie’s husband, Tom, passed away in 2012.

Colton & Chloe playing at home
Quilted duvet cover designed and made by Debbie

Debbie is constantly on the move – walking long distances, hiking and biking rail trails, or sampling new group exercise classes just for fun while on the road. She has a passion for gardening, loves going to concerts and museums, and enjoys helping friends with home and classroom makeovers!

    Debbie's herb Garden

Debbie has trained many teachers in schools across North America in all aspects of literacy instruction and is a popular conference speaker. She is well known for her presentations on literacy (and recently math) work stations and small group instruction. It is important to Debbie to spend time every week working with children and their teachers in classrooms so that she can stay tuned into the needs of today’s children and their teachers. Much has changed since Debbie began teaching in 1976, and she strives to be a 21st century teacher!

Jess and Nick spending time outdoors in FL Jon, Brittany, Chloe and Colton
Debbie works with upper grade ELA teachers planning and thinking about small group instruction in Colorado Springs Debbie enjoys showing teachers how to use her book at ILA Debbie doing what she loves best... working in classrooms helping teachers improve instruction and related partner practice, such as this writing/observation station in kindergarten

Christine Wilson

Christine began her journey as a literacy teacher in 1982 after graduating from Southwest Texas State University with a specialty in reading. After receiving her Masters degree in reading, Christine became a literacy coach at a large, diverse PK-5 elementary campus in Houston. Along with her experience as a classroom teacher and coach, Christine has also worked as an adjunct professor for St. Thomas University.

Recently, Christine retired from her position as a Literacy Specialist in the Special Education Department where she worked with 26 elementary campuses. She has supported general education and special educators, students, and elementary campuses with staff development, literacy assessments, inclusion, work stations, room set-up, and special education scheduling.

Christine Christine loves to make people laugh! Christine's Daughter Hannah & Son Jacob

Throughout her career, Christine has consulted at district, state and national levels. By working alongside fellow educators, Christine continues to assist teachers in perfecting their craft. Some of her favorite roles include modeling instruction, sharing examples, brainstorming ideas, and creating problem-solving options for teachers. Having a good laugh during a presentation is a usual occurrence, too, as evidenced by her photo!

Christine and Debbie Diller met as literacy coach colleagues in 1995. Over their years together in the district and beyond, they have continued to stay in touch, asking each other questions, celebrating victories, and brainstorming educational ideas. Christine was thrilled to get a call to come and support Deb’s work on a part-time basis.

When Christine is not working, she is busy in Houston raising her two children, Hannah and Jacob. Besides watching soccer, her favorite pastime is relaxing by the pool with her husband, Bill, when time permits. She also loves to garden, but gardening doesn’t necessarily like her.

Being a part of the education world continues to be a fulfilling and exciting career for Christine Wilson, even after 30 years!

Christine's Son Jacob on his high school soccer team

Tricia Essick

Tricia Essick began her career in 1978 and taught K-3 for over 30 years in Asheboro City Schools, North Carolina. During this time, she met Debbie Diller and used literacy work stations in her classroom. Tricia has also worked as a building and district level Curriculum Specialist Instructor with a focus on math and science; in this position she moved stations into her district and helped implement them across many classrooms.

Recently, she has written math lessons to support Common Core State Standards for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and worked as a dissemination consultant and writer for a mathematics grant-funded program through Meredith College which provided training in mathematics instruction for classroom teachers across North Carolina. Tricia retired in 2011 after 33 years in education with the state of North Carolina.

Tricia working with teachers

Tricia working with teachers

Tricia has received numerous teaching awards and technology grants, including Asheboro City Schools’ Math Teacher of the Year, and a 21st Century Technology Classroom Grant for $10,000 which made hers the first elementary classroom in the district with a SmartBoard! She has also been a district trainer for Cognitively Guided Instruction in Mathematics (CGI).

Tricia has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and is Nationally Board Certified. When she is not working, she enjoys boating at the lake, gardening, or fishing and shelling at the beach with her husband of 38 years, Jim. They have two grown children, David and Lauren and three “granddogs.”

Cecilia Vasquez-Borg

Cecilia has a wide range of experience in PreK through 12th grade. She began teaching in 1995, and has worked extensively with second language learners and has been a classroom teacher, a bilingual teacher, and a school improvement specialist for language arts, math, and science. She has also served as a school administrator and has worked as a consultant in public school and charter school settings.

As a consultant, Cecilia has presented best practices in English Language Arts at various conferences and has helped reform low performing schools to Exemplary and Recognized status in districts throughout Texas. She especially enjoys working with English Language Learners transition, school transformations, and turnarounds.


Cecilia working with reading stations

Cecilia has a Master’s degree from Texas A&M in College Station, TX. She is an expert in child development and differentiated instruction. She believes in using best practices, data analysis, and current research and theory to provide purpose, time on task, and rich opportunities for learning in all classrooms. Working with teachers and students daily ensures that her roots as a teacher stay strong. Education is ever-changing, and she continues her learning to be a Master Teacher.

Cecilia grew up in Brownsville, Texas and currently lives in Houston, Texas. She enjoys traveling with her family and having deep conversations with her friends about education.

Sheila Galvan-Clifford

Sheila Galvan-Clifford began her teaching career in 1983. She graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX with a major in education and a minor in Spanish. She has worked in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) for 30 years as a classroom teacher (grades K, 2, and 4) and as an elementary instructional coordinator (PreK-grade 5). Sheila has been a mentor for many teachers in regular classrooms, bilingual education, and transitional classrooms.

Sheila also worked as a Mentor Trainer for HISD from 2001-2011; during this time she supervised campus literacy coaches, modeled lessons and helped teachers set up work stations in their classrooms. She conducted trainings on various educational topics such as Balanced Literacy and Using a Core Reading Program. While working in the curriculum department, she worked with a team to create district assessments for kindergarten based on state objectives. During this time, Sheila and Debbie Diller worked closely together creating and delivering training for HISD teachers and literacy coaches in Pre K-grade 5. Sheila began working with Debbie part time in 2007.

Recently, Sheila retired but continues to coach elementary teachers at a bilingual campus in Houston ISD. She is thankful to work with children and create a positive impact on their lives.

During her spare time she enjoys reading, creating crafts for shows she does with her sister, and spending time with her husband and their new dog, Atlas (whom she adopted from Debbie!). Sheila also travels to Tampa as often as she can to see her niece and her two great-nieces.

Sheila and her dog Atlas