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NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator in the English Language Arts Award

2016 Award Winner

Bess AltwergerBess Altwerger recently retired from her full-time position as professor of elementary education and graduate reading at Towson University. As an adjunct professor, she continues to teach advanced courses in literacy on a part-time basis, and her current activities are devoted to transforming repressive literacy policies, reprofessionalizing teaching, and returning joy to classrooms.  Learn more about Bess.


Nomination Deadline:  November 15

Purpose:  Established in 1995 to recognize a distinguished national or international educator who has made major contributions to the field of language arts in elementary education.

Award Criteria:  Nominees must have dramatically influenced literacy classroom practice, made ongoing contributions to the field of literacy, obtained national and/or international influence in literacy teaching and learning, contributed a body of work that is compatible with the mission of NCTE

Award Specifics:  The award recipient is presented a plaque at the Elementary Section Get-Together during the NCTE Annual Convention.

Deadline:  The Nomination Form must be submitted by November 15 to or by postal mail to NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator Award, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096.

NOTE: Nomination Forms will also be accepted in person at the Elementary Section Get-Together during the NCTE Annual Convention.

Judging:  The Elementary Section Steering Committee determines the winner based upon nominations received each year from NCTE Elementary Section members. Only one nomination may be submitted per member.

Past Winners:

2016:  Bess Altwerger, Towson University, Baltimore, MD
2015:  Anne Haas Dyson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
           and Celia Genishi, Columbia University, NY
2014:  Heidi Mills, University of South Carolina, Columbia
           and Tim O'Keefe, Center for Inquiry, Columbia, SC
2013:  David and Yvonne Freeman, University of Texas, Brownsville 
2012:  JoBeth Allen, University of Georgia, Athens
2011:  Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona, Tucson  
2010:  Phillipa Stratton, Editorial Director, Stenhouse Publishers
2009:  Karen Smith, Arizona State University, Tempe
2008:  Carolyn Burke and Jerome Harste, Indiana University, Bloomington
2007:  Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University, Columbus
2006:  Shelley Harwayne, New York City Public Schools 
2005:  Sonia Nieto, University of Massachusetts, Boston
2004:  Vivian Gussin Paley, University of Chicago, IL
2003:  Bernice Cullinan, New York University
2002:  Dorothy Watson, University of Missouri, Columbia
2001:  Brian Cambourne, University of Wollongong, Australia
2000:  Carole Edelsky, Arizona State University, Tempe  
1999:  Louise Rosenblatt, New York University
1998:  Dorothy Strickland, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
1997:  Charlotte Huck, The Ohio State University, Columbus
1996:  Kenneth and Yetta Goodman, University of Arizona, Tucson 
1995:  Donald Graves, University of New Hampshire, Durham


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