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B.A. Early Childhood Education, University of Florida, Highest Honors
M.Ed. Early Childhood Education, University of Florida
Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction, University of Florida
After teaching for four years and completing her graduate coursework, Dr. Hayes began her career at P.K. Yonge as a kindergarten teacher. She spent thirteen years as a P.K. Yonge classroom teacher in kindergarten through third grade. Approached with the possibility of supporting other teachers in their efforts to implement best practices, she assumed the role of middle school reading coach for two years. Together with other P.K. Yonge and UF College of Education faculty, successful summer reading programs were designed to form the foundation for a three-year, federally-funded research investigation and our current SAIL/UFLI (Summer Adventures in Literacy/University of Florida Literacy Initiative) teacher training opportunities. Following her work in middle school, she served for six years as P.K. Yonge’s elementary reading coach, and four years as P.K. Yonge’s Director of Research and Outreach.
Her two-year case study dissertation set the stage for her life’s work—to identify pathways for providing visible models of effective, evidence-based practice for emerging and practicing teachers so that they may observe and study alternative possibilities for public education. As Director of Research and Outreach she led and developed strategies for engaging others in learning from and with teachers at P.K. Yonge. P.K. Yonge teachers host more than 300 teachers and administrators annually in their classrooms through Research in Action days and summer workshops. Over the years she has helped to secure more than $55 million in competitively-funded state and federal research, development, and training grants.
As Director, she continues to work closely with University of Florida researchers to submit funding proposals to support K-12 curriculum and program development efforts in literacy, science, technology, and mathematics. Current projects include: (1) Principal Investigator with Dr. Rose Pringle (UF College of Education Associate Professor/Science Educator) of a National Science Foundation Math Science Partnership Teacher Institute for the 21st Century, U-FUTuRES: University of Florida Unites Teachers to Reform Education in Science (#1050166) partnering P.K. Yonge middle school science teachers with 12 Florida school districts; and, (2) serving as a panel member for a recently released Institute of Education Sciences Practice Guide on Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade accompanied by a SE-REL video series of best practices demonstrated by P.K. Yonge elementary teachers.