Kathleen Budge brings a blend of 26 years of experience as a teacher and administrator combined with nearly two decades of work dedicated to bridging the gap between the university and the teaching profession. She is professor emerita at Boise State University, where her research continues to focus on poverty, rural education, and school improvement. She is co-author (with Grant Chandler) of the forthcoming (April, 2023) book Powerful Student Care: Honoring Each Student as Distinctive and Irreplaceable. She also co-authored (with William Parrett) the award-winning Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools, 2nd Edition, and the best-selling Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices. Budge has conducted numerous presentations at international, national, and state conferences and served as guest speaker for webinars, podcasts, and symposiums related to the topics of poverty, rural education, and the whole child. Her consultancies include state departments, boards of education, education associations, state and regional service providers; as well as schools and districts across the U.S. and internationally. She continues to maintain that her most important and significant work has been teaching first graders to read.