Katie Wilburn

Ph.D. Student

After earning her master’s in elementary education, Katie Wilburn moved to the D.C. metropolitan area to teach. She spent four years teaching Grades 3-5, including inclusion and co-taught classes. Her teaching was focused on reading, and she quickly became interested in pursuing a master's degree focused in this area. After obtaining her Reading Specialist certificate, Wilburn became a school-based reading specialist. During those six years, she oversaw the RTI process for reading, facilitated and supported grade-level PLCs, implemented small group and individual interventions and coached teachers. Missing the classroom, Wilburn moved to middle school and taught sixth- and seventh-grade English for four years. During this time, she saw the struggles that her students had when reading and dove into the research to find evidence-based practices to use in her classroom. This eventually led her to leave the classroom and pursue her doctorate. She is currently a second-year doctoral student at the University of Virginia in the Reading Education program under the guidance of Professor Emily Solari. Her research focuses on how to close the instructional gaps that adolescent learners have in middle school; specifically, she’s focusing on how morphological instruction might be used in the classroom to help adolescent readers read and understand more complicated texts. She’s passionate about bringing research into the classroom, in both teaching pre-service teachers and providing guidance to in-service teachers.

Current Projects: