Our Writing Coaches


Terri Karsten

I taught high school English for 21 years in the Cochrane-Fountain City (WI) school district, and worked as a K-12 Curriculum director for 6 years. I’m also a freelance writer. I write many different things including novels, articles, short stories, and a blog. You can find more about me at http://www.terrikarsten.com. The thing that excites most about REACCT is the opportunity to work one on one with young writers. I think this sort of individualized, focused interaction is the best way to learn writing. Writing is my passion, and I love helping other people improve their own writing. Since I do so much writing, and work with other writers in critique groups and at conferences, I get and give a lot of writing advice. Probably the most important bit of advice is to just write it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can (and should) always go back and fix it, but it’s hard to fix a blank page.


Beth McDonald

I have 13 years of experience teaching high school English, coaching forensics, and leading a youth outdoor adventure club.  I am passionate about working with students to learn and navigate the ever changing world of communication. I am currently in the graduate program at Viterbo University’s Department of Education while adding a 316 reading teacher certification to my license. I am excited to be a part of a learning community with the shared goal of providing students with meaningful writing experiences.  Classroom teachers have complex jobs; they need to accommodate a wide array of student abilities, backgrounds, and goals. I am excited to be able to support these teachers as a  classroom resource, particularly with one on one conferencing.The best writing advice I’ve gotten is to be concise. Brevity is not my strong suit.  I love writing, so I often need to make an effort to avoid belaboring my key message.


Debbie Hansen

My background is in the field of speech language pathology. I’ve worked to provide speech and language services to children and adults in school and medical settings. The overall goal of speech therapy is helping others to communicate successfully, which aligns with the REACCT program.  I am excited to help students hone their writing and critical thinking skills! I think these skills are much-needed (but often overlooked) skills in our society. It’s so rewarding to see students develop confidence and independence in their ability to express themselves. The best advice I’ve received is to just start writing and let the ideas flow; you can always go back and edit and tweak later.