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Kristin M. Gehsmann

Dr. Kristin Gehsmann, Professor and Director of the School of Education

Kristin Gehsmann, Professor and Director of the School of Education
Dr. Kristin Gehsmann, Professor and Director of the School of Education

School of Education
1750 Kraft Drive
Room 2001 (0302)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dr. Kristin M. Gehsmann, EdD is a Professor of Literacy Education and Director of the Virginia Tech School of Education. Prior to her appointment at Virginia Tech in 2020, she held tenured faculty and leadership positions at East Carolina University and Saint Michael’s College.  Dr. Gehsmann holds degrees in elementary education, early childhood education, and educational leadership and policy studies.

A former elementary school teacher and statewide early literacy improvement specialist, Dr. Gehsmann’s research aims to improve literacy outcomes for preK-12 students, particularly those from underserved communities. A nationally recognized expert in literacy development, instruction, assessment, and intervention, her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, books, websites, blogs, and newspapers.  Recent research publications include: “The Interaction of Silent Reading Rate, Academic Vocabulary, and Comprehension Among Students in Grades 2-12,” Reading Research Quarterly (2022), and “The impact of adaptive, web-based, scaffolded silent reading practice on the reading achievement of fourth and fifth grade students,” The Elementary School Journal (2019).

Dr. Gehsmann was named to Virginia Business Magazine’s list of 100 People to Meet in 2021” and is credited with raising $20M in sponsored research and programs over the course of her career.  She has published two widely adopted textbooks on the sciences of reading including the NCTQ-endorsed Teaching Reading and Writing: The Developmental Approach (PreK-Grade 8) (2nd ed) (Gehsmann & Templeton, 2022; Pearson) and Assessing Readers: Qualitative Assessment and Student-Centered Instruction (3rd ed) (Flippo, Gehsmann, & Halladay, 2021; Routledge).

Dr. Gehsmann has been involved in policy development and implementation across the US and frequently consults with school divisions, state boards of education, and educational publishers.  Her work developing online professional development solutions for teachers of reading has been recognized with several CODiE Awards, the software industry’s highest recognition.

Dr. Gehsmann is a contributing author to Reading Plus, an online reading intervention for students in grades 2-12.  Additionally, she has developed and validated multiple assessments and classroom observation tools published by Pearson and Savvas Learning Company.  Dr. Gehsmann serves on the Policy and Legislative Committee of the Literacy Research Association (LRA) and co-chairs the In-service Teacher Education special interest group (SIG) of LRA.

  • Literacy Policy
  • Literacy Development
  • Literary Assessment
  • Reading Intervention
  • EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Vermont, Burlington
  • MS in Early Childhood Education, Central Connecticut State University
  • BS in Elementary Education, Central Connecticut State University
  • Director, Virginia Tech School of Education
  • Professor, Virginia Tech School of Education
  • Editorial Roles: 
    • Editor in Chief/Curator, All Kids Can Read (Internet publication)
    • Member, Editorial Review Board, The Reading Teacher 
  • Selected as one of the 100 People to Meet in 2021 by Virginia Business magazine. 
  • Inducted into Phi Kappa Phi (the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honors society of all disciplines), East Carolina University, Chapter 114, 2019
  • “Posters on the Hill” National Award, Council on Undergraduate Research — Faculty mentorship to Shelby Knudson, Class of 2015, for “Narrowing the Literacy Achievement Gap: Increasing Third and Fourth Grade Boys’ Motivation to Read,” 2015
  • CODiE Award Recipient: Best Professional Development Solution for The Words Their Way Online Workshop, 2011
  • Stafford Scholar Fellowship, National Institute on Leadership, Disability, and Students Placed at Risk, University of Vermont, Burlington, 2004–07
  • Reading Plus has been designed and developed in partnership with nationally recognized researchers and authors in the field of reading assessment, reading comprehension, vocabulary, motivation, and visual perception, leveraging the best thinking in literacy. Dr. Kristin Gehsmann is a contributing author.


  • Literacy Advisor: East Carolina University Community School (ECUCS).  Minority serving K-5 charter school in high poverty community.  100% of students qualify for lunch assistance. Description: 20 faculty, staff, and administrators, 115 students; increasing reading achievement and community engagement around literacy in grades PreK-5
  • Literacy Research Association, Co-Chair, Area 2 SIG: Inservice Teacher Education (appointed)
  • Literacy Research Association, Policy and Legislative Committee (appointed)