Pelican K12

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Kevin Bechert

After receiving a Master’s in Management from St. Thomas University in Miami Florida, Kevin Bechert started his Educational Publishing career with AMSCO School Publications. He would spend the next 12 years there as the South Florida Educational Sales Consultant, Florida Sales Manager, and the Southeastern and Midwestern Sales Manager.

Kevin initiated the launch and publication of the highly successful AMSCO Advanced Placement product line. In 2007, he Co-Founded Everglades K-12 Publishing, specializing in Standards Based Mathematics and Science materials.

Kevin remained President until 2017. In 2022 Kevin Bechert founded and launched Pelican K-12, Inc. which specializes in the new Florida B.E.S.T. English Language Arts Standards.

Melissa Toothman

Melisa Toothman has been an educator in Florida for over twenty years and holds a BA in English and an MS in Family, Youth and Community Sciences from University of Florida. She began her career teaching at a program for juveniles on probation before moving to public high schools first in Alachua and then Hillsborough County. As well as serving as the English department chair at H. B. Plant High School, she has also taught 9th-12th grades at varying levels of readiness, ranging from co-taught inclusive ESE English to Advanced Placement Language and Composition.

At PHS, Melisa has spearheaded initiatives to increase access to honors and AP level curriculum to more students, developed faculty-wide learning walks, and hosted Tampa Bay Area Writing Project trainings. She has actively worked with her district colleagues to create professional development on topics such as reading strategies, standards-based instruction, and growth mindset in the classroom.

She has also worked on several district level teams to develop standards-based English and reading exams for 9th and 10th grade students. Her passion lies in providing the strategies and support in a language arts classroom to ensure an equitable and enriching experience for all students.

Kathryn Robinson

After receiving a BA in English 6-12 and a MA in Reading K-12, Kathryn (Kitty) Robinson started her career teaching English and reading in the secondary classroom before transitioning to diagnosing and remediating students’ reading difficulties as a reading specialist.

She became interested in reading assessment while serving as the Testing Coordinator for a large middle school in New Jersey, which led to serving as a literacy consultant to a major publisher of state test preparation books. After moving to Florida in 2003, Kitty joined the Hillsborough County Public Schools District where she served as a Reading Coach, supporting classroom teachers of all content, before moving to a district resource position. In that capacity, she wrote reading curriculum, mentored reading coaches, developed and presented professional development to teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators.

In her last Hillsborough position as Coordinator of Literacy K-12, she wrote all new district FL Reading Endorsement courses and managed the program. Her Florida literacy work outside of the district included serving on a state standards committee and developing reading formatives to measure student progress on the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) under the supervision of the Just Read, Florida! office.

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