Possessing more than 20 years of experience and expertise, Whitney Nicole Reschke Imhoff is a regional literacy coach with the Ohio Department of Education. She initially did not plan to pursue a career in education, yet she first experienced working with children as a fifth grader when she performed an independent study that allowed her to volunteer in the classroom of her former kindergarten teacher. Inspired by the support she received from the teachers who saw her grow up, she furthered her exploration of teaching at Otterbein University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with a reading endorsement in 2004—and later secured a master’s degree in literacy at the University of Akron in 2009.
Ms. Imhoff began her career as a preschool teacher with All the Children of World Academy in 2002, becoming an art teacher from 2003 to 2004. Continually advancing, from 2004 to 2007 she served the Green Local Schools as a Title I reading teacher, and between 2007 and 2023 she applied her respected professional prowess to work with grades K-12 as a reading specialist in replacement reading at Norwayne Local Schools in Creston, Ohio. Ms. Imhoff is particularly proud of having developed the “board with badges” program for her school. Additionally, she has presented on a variety of topics throughout the district, including phonemic awareness and creating a trauma-sensitive classroom. In addition, she gave a presentation titled “Make and Take Phonics” outside of the district.
Alongside her work as a teacher, Ms. Imhoff is the author of two children’s books, “Hudson and Nash” and “Hudson and Nash *2*,” both published in 2020. The books are designed to help children who are struggling to read learn while satisfying their desire to read chapter books. The books also include questions and prompts for parents to help their children engage creatively through writing and drawing. Ms. Imhoff notably donated 100 signed sets of the two books to classrooms and families through the “Reading Under Lights” program of the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties.
Passionate about literacy, Ms. Imhoff began offering pro bono reading tutoring services in 2020 and previously spent time as a child mentor with Wayne County Children Services from 2018 to 2020. From 2014 to 2016, she was involved with the U.S. Army unit of the Ohio National Guard, where she established a newsletter for the Family Readiness Group and is a donor to Asia’s Hope. As she looks toward the future, Ms. Imhoff has plans to write more books that invigorate children’s love of reading and help struggling children engage with more complex chapter books.
Having accomplished much throughout the years, Ms. Imhoff finds the most gratifying part of her career to be when she hears from parents telling her how their children, her former students, have been excelling thanks to her guidance. She loves helping children find their “aha” moments and developing strong relationships with her students so that they feel like they can trust her and come to her if they need anything. Furthermore, Ms. Imhoff recalls that she didn’t have formal phonics training until college and struggled initially as she was learning the fundamentals. This experience has given an added dimension to how she relates to students who are starting on their literacy journey. Since Ms. Imhoff started teaching while still in college, she notes that she is deeply grateful that she found a school that was willing to work with her and support her as she completed her education. To young and aspiring professionals, she would advise seeking mentorship from a veteran teacher. She feels fortunate to have had outstanding mentors across the schools and districts in which she has worked. Ms. Imhoff also attributes much of her success to the support she has received from her family, which includes her parents, Jeff and Lisa Reschke; husband, Ryan; and son Ronich.