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For the past thirty-five years, Carol Bedard has worked in the field of education as a music therapist, a classroom teacher, a university professor, and an educational administrator. She is currently the director of literacy for the Houston Independent School District.
Born in El Paso, Carol says that she is a true Texan. She attended Ysleta High School and, while attending Texas A&M at West Texas in Canyon, Texas, she played the piano daily. She also worked at an upscale clothing boutique, studied voraciously, and "danced, pranced, and cheered" at all school sporting events as a member of the WT Song Girl squad.
She began her career as a music therapist at the Amarillo State Center for Human Development, where she worked with special needs children and adults. "My teaching career has centered on students with special needs," says Carol. "When I was in fourth grade, I became friends with a special needs student. I still remember him sitting with my group of friends and listening to our conversation during lunch. Communicating was very difficult for him. He had very few words and said them in a very halting manner. I didn't know it at the time, but befriending that young boy left an indelible mark on my life."
After marrying in 1978, Carol moved to Houston, where she began her public school teaching career. She has taught in suburban schools, a rural school, and an urban school. After completing her Ph.D at the University of Texas at Austin, she took a position at the University of Houston as a literacy professor in the urban education department.
Carol has served as president of the Texas Council of Teaching of English Language Arts, chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Censorship Committee, chair of the International Reading Association Special Interest Group Network on Adolescent Literacy, coeditor of English in Texas, and codirector of the Greater Houston Area Writing Project.
"Teaching provides an opportunity for me to share my love of reading with others," says Carol. "The greatest moments in my teaching career have come when students have shared that they too have become readers. To this day, I exchange e-mails with many former students and we share 'must-read' books."
Carol has three sons and her hobbies include reading, writing, and exercising.