About Mark Weakland
A teacher, reading specialist, writer, and musician, Mark enjoys exploring the intersections of education and the arts. As a national and regional teacher and consultant, Mark works with students, teachers, and administrators to create effective literacy programs, as well as authentic and extended reading and writing experiences. As an artist, Mark strives to write books and music that engage and inspire young readers, writers, and musicians.
Mark holds a master’s of education degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He was the recipient of an Owens Fellowship and studied in Japan under the auspices of the Japanese Fulbright Memorial Fund. His teaching certifications include reading specialist, special education, elementary education, and general science. A learning support teacher for nine years, Mark worked 10 years as an educational consultant, providing professional development in the areas of reading and instructional practices. He recently finished his fourth year as an elementary school Title I reading specialist. His latest adventure is as a literacy consultant, writer, and presenter.
From presentations at San Diego State University and the International Reading Association's National Convention in New Orleans, to week-long and year-long residencies in districts near his home town, Mark strives to bring encouraging, practical, and achievable solutions for literacy issues. Pragmatic solutions based on research and best-practices are his goal, for both teachers and administrators. His workshops, presentations, and job-embedded residencies address elementary writing programs, core-reading programs, student-used metacognition strategies, and instructional techniques build on music and movement.
Currently, Mark has more than four-dozen published children's books to his name, and more are on the way. His books have won awards, such as a Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, a Eureka Nonfiction Children’s Book Award (Silver), a Parents’ Choice Audio Book award, and a Child Magazine’s Creative Child Award (nonfiction). His Capstone Press and Picture Window Books include collaborations with Sports Illustrated and Warner Brothers. Additionally, he has teacher resource books published with Kagan Publishing and The International Reading Association. His book about spelling instruction will be published by Stenhouse Publishing sometime next year.
A musician at heart, Mark still performs occasionally as a singer, drummer, and guitarist. His original songs have finished as finalists in the John Lennon and USA Songwriting contests, and his collections of kids’ songs have won numerous Parents’ Choice awards.
Mark’s many interests are tied together in his businesses, Springwater Creative and Mark Weakland Literacy. He lives at Springwater Farm in the hills of western Pennsylvania with his wife, Beth Good, and flies to Seattle to visit his parents and sisters.