After the previous Wilson Reading System credentialed trainer for Carroll County Public Schools retired, the school system needed a new face to train teachers in the system which is used to help struggling readers.
Since 2005, more than 400 CCPS teachers have been trained in Wilson Language Training programs.
They found a candidate in Diane Giannaccini, instructional consultant for reading intervention, with 24 years of experience in education and 20 of those at CCPS.
The Wilson Reading System is an intensive program for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities that is used across the country and accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. It’s multisensory and structured and the goal is independence and fluency in reading and spelling, according to a news release from CCPS.
Giannaccini underwent a year-long internship to prepare her to certify coach and mentor faculty as a credentialed trained for the Wilson Reading System.
Her training was through a literacy grant from the Maryland State Department of Education.
In the news release, Giannaccini said, “The practicum was incredibly powerful in increasing teachers’ instructional knowledge. Their students made remarkable progress, which was demonstrated both in the data and in their self-confidence. These students have all expressed that they are readers now and that tasks are easier because they can read! They felt good about their accomplishments, which was evident in their smiles and A+ assignments.”
The Times caught up with Giannaccini to ask about her training and what she likes to read on her time off.
This conversation has been edited some for length and clarity.
Q: Can you summarize the role of an instructional consultant for reading intervention?
A: Yes, it varies every day. I’m never in the same place on any day.
Q: Was the Wilson [Trainer credential] something that you sought out and said, “Hey, you know, I’d love to do this?”
A: Yes, it was. I think it’s worthwhile. We had a Wilson trainer in the system and she retired. So that left Carroll County without a Wilson credential trainer. That’s something that the [Special Education] Department really wanted to pursue and sustain. So I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to do it.
Q: Working with Wilson, is it something you’ve seen have a noticeable difference on students?
A: For those students that require that intensity of instruction — because it is instruction that’s very intense, to support students that are really struggling in reading or have dyslexia — it has been very effective for those students.