Spotlight on Thea Capps

The department is pleased to highlight some of the amazing literacy coaches who are focused on improving literacy around the state! As part of the LEARNS Act, the department is hiring up to 120 literacy coaches who will support teachers in their efforts to ensure all students are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. Literacy coaches provide direct coaching, observation, information about student progress, and feedback to teachers in K-3 classrooms and support school leaders in implementing the Science of Reading and improving literacy school-wide. To learn more about the LEARNS Act, visit

Meet Thea Capps

Hometown: Star City, AR
Years in Education: 32
Currently Serving: Dermott and Dumas School Districts

What motivated you to become a literacy coach?

I wanted to become a literacy coach to provide support to educators. I am committed to delivering assistance to teachers, recognizing that by excelling in my responsibilities, I empower them with the necessary tools to positively impact the educational trajectory of struggling and novice readers.

What are some of the rewards you have experienced as a literacy coach?

The greatest reward I've experienced during my professional journey has been the collaborative work with educators and their students, facilitating the attainment of their literacy objectives. Additionally, I have developed valuable relationships with administrators and fellow teachers within my academic community, further contributing to the collective pursuit of educational excellence.

What advice do you routinely give teachers? Why?

"Never stop learning!" This mindset acknowledges teaching as a continuous journey of exploration and refinement. By internalizing this principle, educators position themselves as lifelong learners, staying receptive to emerging ideas, evolving methodologies, and technological advancements that enhance their instructional efficacy.

Why is being on grade level in reading important?

Reading is the foundation for all other learning. Reading on grade level is a cornerstone of academic success, fostering a range of skills and attributes that contribute to a student's overall development and future opportunities.

What words of encouragement would you give to a young struggling reader and his/her parents?

Practice! Practice! Practice! Anything you want to be good at requires practice. As an extension of this principle, it is essential to communicate to parents that encountering challenges or struggles does not negate the potential for success. Emphasizing the variability in individual learning rates, I would convey that perseverance and ongoing effort are key elements in the learning process, as well as celebrating successes no matter how large or small. By fostering a mindset that appreciates the value of continuous practice and acknowledges the inherent diversity in learning timelines, individuals can navigate challenges and ultimately achieve their desired level of proficiency.

What words of encouragement do you have for other educators?

Navigating the responsibilities of this demanding profession requires resilience, but it is achievable and immensely rewarding. I encourage teachers to approach each day with unwavering commitment, giving their best in every endeavor. Recognizing that children undergo continuous learning and growth, it is important to appreciate the profound impact educators have on shaping their development. The best advice I can give to fellow educators is to embrace the significance of their daily contributions, no matter how challenging, knowing they are making a difference in the lives of students.