Sul Ross State University invites educators to the 2019 Science of Literacy and Learning conference on August 5 in the Morelock Academic Building. The conference fee is $25 but discounts are available to districts with five or more participants.

Registration is available online at

Participants will earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits at each presentation. Certificates will be mailed following the event.

Participants are urged to sign in to each session to ensure (CPE) hours.

Presenters at the 2019 conference include the following:

Steven Smith– Smith is the Education Specialist with NASA’s Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Johnson Space Center. His work helps develop scientists from historically disenfranchised groups, creating culturally responsive lessons that engage students previously left out of the amazing kinds of work NASA is doing. He holds degrees from the University of Washington, Georgia College and State University, Macon State College and Brigham Young University. Prior to NASA, Smith worked in K-12 education for 20 years.

Oscar Aguero– Aguero is the superintendent of Marfa ISD and supporter of the READ MARFA project. READ MARFA is dedicated to encouraging & inspiring young readers. There are currently sixty trained volunteers participating in the program; together they provide over twenty-five hours of reading to Marfa Elementary students each week. READ MARFA serves the school’s entire prekindergarten through Grade 4 population, including both Montessori and traditional classrooms, and also provides bilingual sessions for English language learners.

Jessie F. Fuentes and CC Winn High School Win Crew– Mr. Fuentes is a dedicated and passionate high school teacher in Eagle Pass at Winn High School. Mr. Fuentes and his students will share about the power of storytelling. Learn how the Winn High School’s media team, the Winn Crew, leverages the power of storytelling in media projects, incorporating 21st century skill sets using visual, oral, and written communications. From student led film festivals to radio to wire, Fuentes’s students are making a difference in communities serving diverse populations. Learn how to provide student’s the opportunity to collaborate, communication, and create media productions and digital arts to include photography, video, radio, TV, web, and drone technologies.

Dr. Drew Howard– Dr. Howard is the Senior Director of School Governance at the Texas Education Agency.

Osen DeLeon– DeLeon is a veteran K-12 literacy leader serving students in the San Felipe Del Rio CISD school district. Her research interest emphasizes encouraging diverse struggling readers through the use of fiction to improve emotional intelligence. DeLeon is a recent graduate of the M.Ed. Reading Specialist program.

Professor Rhonda Hayes– Hayes is an expert in visualization and the science of learning. She teaches counseling courses at Sul Ross State University and will contribute Using Visual Aids to Enhance Understanding and Healing.

AJ Lowe– Lowe works at Pearson Learning and will share his expertise in the area of large scale reading assessment.


The Science of Literacy and Learning Event
FREE CPE Hours Awarded!
Morelock Academic Building
Sul Ross State University Dept. of Education
Monday, August 5, 2019

Welcome in Marshall Auditorium- Dr. Bill Kiber (9:00-9:15 am)

Opening Keynotes in Auditorium-
Steven Smith, Lost Kids Finds Home at NASA (9:15-10:15 am)
Oscar Aguero, Marfa Reads Project (10:15-11:00 am)

Breakout Session 1 (11:05-11:55 am)
Literacy and the Diverse Learner Strand
Osen DeLeon, M.Ed., Reading Specialist 2019 Cohort Del Rio CISD Development of Emotional Intelligence Through Literacy (MAB 206)

Program Design and Evaluation Strand
Drew Howard, Texas Education Agency, Local Governance Support (MAB 308)

Lunch on Your Own (12- 1 pm)

Breakout Session 2 (1-1:50 pm)
Pedagogy and Assessment Strand
AJ Lowe, Pearson Learning, Finding the words: The Science Behind Large-Scale Reading Assessment Passages (MAB 302)

Professional and Preparation Learning Strand
Professor Ronda Hayes, Sul Ross State University, Using Visual Aids to Enhance Understanding and Healing (MAB 308)

Closing Keynote in Marshall Auditorium (2-3 pm)
Mr. Fuentes and Winn High Team: Digital Storytelling Through the Use of Film.