Val Piccini has been in education for over 27 years. She has been a classroom teacher, Literacy Specialist, Title I teacher, and member of an administrative team in charge of data integration and instruction. She is a Teacher Consultant for the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and Founding Director of a hub of the project, Writers of Westmoreland. Val is a Reading Specialist and Instructor at Carlow University and oversees Carlow’s International Dyslexia Association accredited MEd in Reading Specialist program with Dyslexia Certification. Val is also a National LETRS trainer for Lexia Learning, training thousands of teachers nationwide each year in the Science of Reading. She is a strong advocate for teachers having access and knowledge to implement evidence-based curricula and assessments, including ongoing and embedded support for classroom implementation. Val advocates for evidence-based instruction and intervention, so that ALL children learn to read and write.


Wilmington University, School of Graduate Studies, Wilmington, DE 

Masters in Reading with Disabilities – Reading Specialist, Fall 2002

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

BS Elementary Education, May 1996

University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching, 2015

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Western Pennsylvania Writing Project Fellow, 2011

Selected Publications 

  • Contributing Author: Luskey, Matthew C. & Wolfe, Christine A (2013). The Poetic Classroom: A Collection of Lessons, Reflections, and Poetry from Teachers and Students in Western Pennsylvania.Autumn House Press 

Selected Presentations

  • Piccini, V., Baronak, K, & Sora, S. (2023). Comprehension Supports in Structured Literacy Programs. PA Higher Education Summit. 
  • Piccini, V. (2023). Spotlight on Foundational Writing Skills. Hope through Joy, Western Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English (WPCTE) and the English Education Collaborative (ECC) at Penn West Spring Conference
  • Piccini, V. (2023).  Structured Literacy Teacher Academy. Various School Districts Across Western, PA 
  • Piccini, V. (2022). Spotlight on Foundational Writing Skills. Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (PBIDA) Spring Conference
  • Piccini, V. (2022). Spotlight on the Speech Sounds of English. Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (PBIDA) Spring Conference
  • Piccini, V. (2021) Spotlight on Dyslexia. Sr. Mary Paul Educator Workshop Series, Department of Education, Carlow University. 
  • Piccini, V. (2021) The Importance of Oral Language Development. Partnership with Parents Series, The Campus Laboratory School at Carlow University and Wheeling Country Day
  • Piccini, V. (2020). A Mindful Practice: Building Oral Language to Support Writing Development for ALL Students. Mindful Writing Workshop Conference, Carlow University and The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project
  • Piccini, V. & Baronak, K. (2019). With or Without a Label: How ALL Kids Learn to Read. Title I Improving Schools Performance State Conference.

Awards & Recognition

  • Scholastic Writing Awards Judge
  • Expert Literacy Observer
  • Poetry Out Loud Regional Judge

Professional Memberships 

  • National Trainer for LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) 
  • The International Dyslexia Association
  • Western Pennsylvania Writing Project
  • ASCD
  • The Reading League

“My role at Carlow University is to prepare professional reading educators to become competent practitioners and agents for equitable literacy: ensuring every learner achieves full literacy through systematic and explicit teaching of reading, writing and spelling. The heart of Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialist program is to develop literacy leaders who possess a deep knowledge in the cognitive science of reading and the instructional expertise necessary to employ evidence-based practices that afford all students the opportunity to learn to read and write.” — Valerie Piccini

© Copyright 2024 Carlow University. All rights reserved.