Co-Founder and Principal
Nonie K. Lesaux is Roy E. Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Lesaux’s research and professional work focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of today’s children from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds. Lesaux is the lead author of four books for literacy leaders and educators, and a widely circulated state literacy report, Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success, that forms the basis for state legislation. Lesaux is currently Chair of the Board of Early Education and Care in Massachusetts and has served on a number of federal committees focused on child health and well-being, including the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council’s Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8. She is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to young independent researchers. A native of Canada, Lesaux earned her doctorate in educational psychology and special education from the University of British Columbia.
When she is not working on all things literacy improvement, Nonie can be found reading for pleasure, cooking, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with her partner, two young children, and their close circle of friends.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Kelly Kulsrud has more than 15 years of leading literacy improvement in strategic and tactical terms, through various roles. Prior to launching Lectio, Kulsrud was Director of Reading Proficiency at Strategies for Children, a policy organization in Massachusetts. In that role, Kulsrud led the nation’s first Third Grade Reading Proficiency Learning Network, made up of five communities and serving more than 100,000 young children. Kulsrud also served on the nine-member Massachusetts Early Literacy Expert Panel, established by state legislation. Other professional roles for Kulsrud include teaching second grade in Washington, D.C. and teaching middle school math in Los Angeles, where she also led district-wide professional development focused on promoting literacy to support student success across the content areas. Kelly graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and earned her Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a concentration in language, literacy and literacy coaching. At Harvard, she was honored to receive the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award.
When she is not working on all things literacy improvement, Kelly can be found lacing up her running shoes, exploring new sites and destinations, and navigating the parenting journey with her partner and their two young (very young!) daughters.
What’s in a Name?
Lectio is Latin for reading, often used to connote “reading aloud.” We are lifelong readers, and now educators, who spend our days focused on improving children’s reading outcomes. Why the connection to Latin? We know that children who can play with language and who understand the derivation of words are equipped to be stronger readers. And we know that those who are stronger readers are on a path towards school success and well-being.