Director, Professional Development
Meredith Houff joined Turnaround for Children in 2012 as an Instructional Coach. In 2014, she transitioned to Professional Development Specialist, and, in 2018, was promoted to Director of Professional Development.
During her tenure at Turnaround, Meredith has partnered closely with five New York City elementary schools, facilitating professional learning opportunities for teachers and school staff on topics such as building classroom communities, behavior management and engaging students through cooperative learning.
As Director of Professional Development, Meredith is responsible for leading the training and development of Turnaround’s school-facing staff and creating collaborative work structures that enable teams from across the organization to learn lessons from implementation examples and help shape the organization’s future efforts.
Prior to joining Turnaround, Meredith spent eight years with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), a large and diverse school system in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. She started with FCPS as a primary grade teacher and was her school’s nominee for “First Year Teacher of the Year.” Additionally, she spent a number of summers writing, test-piloting and providing training on a new system-wide science curriculum. In 2010, Meredith was selected to become an FCPS Instructional Coach and worked with school leadership to develop schoolwide professional learning community tenets and systems in an effort to close the achievement gap through data-informed instruction and teacher collaboration.
Meredith is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), where she received an M.A. in education in elementary curriculum and instruction and a B.S in child development.
Who do you admire most in your life? Who is your hero?
I admire my grandmother, Sarah Wikle, a woman before her time. She grew up a farmer’s daughter in rural North Carolina, moved to Winston-Salem to put herself through nursing school when she was just 18 and then raised her family while managing a successful career in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. When she retired, her nursing spirit remained and she continues to care for others in her community by driving the elderly to medical appointments, making social visits to those who cannot get out and about and advocating for the continued refinement of care in a neighboring nursing home. At 90, she approaches life with a positivity and quest for continued improvement and learning that is joyous and refreshing.
What motivates you?
Being a part of a learner’s (adult or child) “aha” moment! It is so gratifying to see someone grapple with a challenge, have a moment of clarity and then be able to tackle something head on. Even more motivating is knowing your support helped make that moment possible.