Joan Primeaux, EdD
What is your role with The Center and what are you most excited about?
I’m a Regional Literacy Specialist for Region 5, Rapides Parish and Concordia Parish, through The Center for Literacy & Learning. I work with Literacy Coaches to support building level and classroom level literacy development based on need. Building a relationship with the coaches through school visits and addressing their concerns is an enlightening experience. At The Center, I also enjoy developing content that can be used for professional development. Both require research and intense engagement, which I find rewarding.
What is your background?
I earned both my Doctorate and Masters in Literacy Education from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. As a teacher-researcher, I studied and wrote my dissertation on the students in my class. In “The Journey of 9 Sixth Graders: From Struggling Readers to Strategic Readers,” I analyzed the students’ verbal and written responses to multicultural literature, their use of explicitly taught comprehension strategies, the effects of self-evaluation, and the amount of self-selected at-home reading during the course of a school year. My findings included my role as the teacher in making literacy instruction more accessible and equitable to these struggling readers. That experience and the opportunities I’ve taken throughout my career have made me a stronger teacher and a stronger person. I try to give back by mentoring others when I can. I consider myself a lifelong learner with no retirement plans in sight. This is my 40th year working in the field of education and I still love it!
What is your favorite childhood book or literacy memory?
I have clear memories of sitting on the carpet in my Kindergarten classroom in Houston, Texas. That’s where I learned how to read. And that began my love of reading and my need to collect books.
Flashback to when you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher. Always. I feel very fortunate that I got a great deal of support from my family, friends, and other educators to realize my dream. I’ve worked in various positions in the field of education. But my heart is in the schools with curious learners. So, this position as an RLS at The Center is ideal for me.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
I love spending time with my family and friends. My daughter and I like to travel, shop, and go to the movies. When we have time off we take our friends and head for the beach. We think the emerald coast of Florida is the most peaceful and relaxing place to visit.