Hi. I'm Marsha Hurd.

I specialize in reading instruction and use the Wilson Reading System in which I am certified.

Learn about me

About Me

I taught in public schools as a Special Education teacher, dual certified in English, for twenty-six years. My goal was to help my students achieve to the best of their abilities in their classes while feeling positive about themselves. Since most of my students struggled to read the assignments in class,it became obvious that the gateway to success was to improve their reading levels. As I saw what a difference direct and explicit reading instruction made, teaching reading became my passion. I used a number of different reading programs, but when Forsyth County offered to pay for Wilson Reading Certification for a small group of teachers, I quickly signed up. I was familiar with the program and knew how well it worked. It was well worth the year of hard work it took to earn the certification. Since 2005 I have taught the Wilson Reading program. After retirement I have had the privilege of working individually with students. Although going from one step to the next step is hard work for a child, it is a joy when reading starts to become easier and the child realizes it. Watching a child who never reads anything unless required, become a child who enjoys reading, is like watching a minor miracle of which I am so glad to be a part of.

Services I Offer

I offer instruction in the Wilson Reading System. When I first meet with a student I will test her in order to determine what skills have already been attained. I have met students at their homes, in after school programs or at a library. I will drive up to 30 minutes away from Huntersville. When a distance is further than that sometimes a library is a good meeting place.

My Training


Education

Walsh College, Canton, Ohio; Masters of Education, 1988
Potsdam State University, Potsdam, New York; Bachelor of Arts, 1977

Licenses & Certifications

National Board Certified Teacher; Exceptional Needs Specialists, 2011

North Carolina Certifications:
Wilson Reading System® Level I Certified, consisting of online course and practicum
 Special Education K-12 Learning Disabled, Mentally Handicapped
 Middle Grades Language Arts
 English (grades 9-12)
 English as a Second Language

What is the Wilson Reading System?

The Wilson Reading System is an intensive program for students in grades 2-12 and adults who are not making sufficient reading progress and have been unable to learn through their current program. These students may require multisensory language instruction or a more intensive structured literacy instruction due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia.

As a structured literacy program based on phonological-coding research and Orton-Gillingham principles, WRS directly and systematically teaches the structure of the English language. Through the program, students learn fluent decoding and spelling skills to the level of mastery. From the beginning steps of the program, students receive instruction in:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Decoding
  • Sight word recognition
  • Spelling
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

All of these skills are for the purpose of making the student a successful, independent, fluent reader. Wilson has been proven to be a highly effective program.

What does it mean to be a Wilson Reading Certified teacher?
There are a number of tutors that advertise themselves as a Wilson Reading teacher after taking an introductory workshop. However, being a certified Wilson Reading teacher requires much more than that. Wilson Reading System Level I Certification requires completion of a prerequisite Introductory Workshop, a minimum 60-hour supervised practicum, a 90-hour word study online course, and student pre- and post-testing reports. During the process, each trainee acquires a very sophisticated working knowledge of the sound-symbol system of English and its structure, as well as the use of specific diagnostic techniques in teaching reading and spelling. As part of their training, teachers receive verbal and written feedback, in a minimum of 5 observations, about their lesson planning and delivery of the program. This is over the course of a twelve month period. This is the only process by which someone can become WRS® Certified. I have this certification since 2005.

In order to verify that someone is a WRS certified teacher you can call the Wilson Customer Support Center at 800.899.8454.

Testimonials

We were so lucky to have found Marsha. She was very patient with our daughter and took extra steps to make sure that she got what she needed. We needed a special tutor that specialized in dyslexia. My daughter is now almost reading at grade level, which is a huge accomplishment for her. She is extremely confident in her reading and wants to read every day. She tries to read every sign she sees. Marsha’s rates were very reasonable and I would recommend Marsha for anyone whose child needs a tutor who is knowledgeable in the process of teaching reading decoding. We’re so happy with the outcome.

Janice, mother of second grader


My eleven year old son has struggled with reading for many years and we tried multiple ways to catch him up. Mrs. Hurd has worked with him using the Wilson method and my son had loved working with her. It’s nice to find a tutor that understands his struggles and recognizes the same areas of need as I do. She has been a great advocate for my son and has helped him to fill in the gaps where he has missing information.

Ellen, mother of sixth grader


Before beginning working with Marsha using the Wilson Reading System my son, James, who is a profound dyslexic, was at a major roadblock in his reading ability. James will likely always struggle with reading, but six months into the program he has made significant progress in recognizing sight words, has improved fluency, and improved reading strategies. We no longer feel hopeless. Marsha has been very patient with James and has provided just the right amount of persistence and consistence to help him begin to move forward. Marsha has also been very understanding and supportive for me as a mother with all of the emotional struggle that comes with having a child who struggles with reading. On numerous occasions she has taken the time to email me or call me to check on his progress or share a new idea or strategy. She has even called to speak with Wilson about James's struggle. She cares about her students and spends time planning and thinking about how to help each individual. We feel like she is more than a tutor - she's a partner.

Amber, mother of 12 year old home schooler

References available upon request.

Contact me