Hi there, I’m Karen Dudek-Brannan!

I’m a Professional Development Specialist, SLP, and founder/CEO of Dr. Karen, LLC, a company focused on empowering therapists and educators to design interventions that support language, literacy, and executive functioning. In my current role, I develop engaging professional development and products that help school teams work together to get better results.

On the De Facto Leaders Podcast, I share up-to-date evidence-based practices, my own experience, and guest interviews designed to help pediatric therapists, educators, and aspiring school leaders design services that support social, emotional, and academic growth and set kids up for success in adulthood. Whether you want to learn effective strategies for your therapy session or classroom, be an influential leader on your team, or find creative ways to use your skills to advance in your career, I’ve got you covered. You can listen to the De Facto Leaders podcast on most popular podcast directories, and can scroll through past episodes on this page here.

Latest Episodes

No, kids do not learn to read and write naturally (with Melanie Brethour)

Skeptics of the Science of Reading claim that the current push for evidence-based reading instruction is just another pendulum swing. Yet if you look at the research, ...

Creating an intentional career and life with alter egos (with Meg Niman)

Many leadership initiatives in education need to come from the top…But change can happen when direct service providers emerge as leaders on their teams without waiting...

Cell phones, 1:1 device initiatives, and homework policies in K-12 education (with Dr. John Burkey)

Learners in K-12 settings have changed over the past 25 years, and what were considered best practices in the 1990s may no longer work for learners in the 2020s.Much o...

Increasing access to instructional programs in rural districts (with Chris Dodge)

If you’re providing therapy or tutoring services, contracting with schools, or offering professional development to K-12 professionals, you won’t want to miss this epi...

Why aren’t my students generalizing? (social skills groups, organizing tools)

Social skills groups have been widely criticized recently. They’re often labeled as ableist and not neurodiversity-affirming.I also take issue with the way social skil...

More Episodes »