National Council of Teachers of English Logo

NCTE Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Level Educator

2016 Award Winner:  Laura Robb

Laura RobbAuthor, teacher, coach, and speaker, Laura Robb has completed more than 43 years of teaching in grades 4 through 8. She presently coaches teachers in grades K to 8 in Virginia and Pennsylvania. For several years, Robb taught struggling middle school readers at Johnson Williams Middle School in Berryville, Virginia, and at the same time trained teachers to scaffold instruction. For long-term professional study projects, Robb always works with those students who need the most support from teachers.

Laura Robb has written more than 25 books for teachers. Her newest book, The Reading Intervention Toolkit, was published by Shell Education in April 2016. Corwin Literacy published Robb’s Vocabulary Is Comprehension: Getting to the Root of Complex Texts, which was available in September 2014. For Heinemann she has published her Smart Writing: Practical Units for Teaching Middle School Writers series for their firsthand curriculum and a professional book, Teaching Middle School Writers: What Every English Teacher Needs to Know. For Scholastic, Robb has completed Unlocking Complex Texts; the book provides teachers with detailed reading and writing about reading lessons. Robb has designed classroom libraries for Scholastic for grades 3 to 9. With Jeff Wilhelm, Robb developed XBOOKS for middle school readers: nonfiction print texts with an online curriculum organized by themes, such as forensics, tyrants, war, medicine, and strange. Robb will have a new book available in October 2016, published by Corwin Literacy, Read Talk Write: 35 Lessons That Teach Students to Analyze Fiction and Nonfiction.

Robb is a keynote and featured speaker at conferences and leads workshops all over the country and in Canada. She writes articles for education journals. Her blog for MiddleWeb, “Our # 1 Reading Problem: Persistent Inequalities” was published in April 2014; another MiddleWeb Blog was published in March 2016, “Ten Motivators to Promote Playful Learning.” Her article on motivation and engagement was published in the Fall 2015 issue of Literacy Today.

Visit her website at

NCTE Annual ConventionJoin us for the Halle Award presentation at the Middle Level Luncheon on Friday, November 18, during the NCTE Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.


Nominations are not accepted for this award.

Purpose:  To honor a junior high/middle level educator  who has worked to promote understanding of the developmental needs and characteristics of young adolescents, especially in the English language arts. 

Eligibility:   A “middle level educator” is defined as anyone who has worked to improve schools and schooling for the middle level—teacher, principal, curriculum specialist, or supervisor as well as anyone at the university or college level—not necessarily a classroom teacher.

Award Criteria: 

  • Encouraging a spirit of inquiry and development of critical and creative thinking within the profession;
  • Showing evidence of exemplary professional involvement, including participation in activities such as workshops, curriculum development, and association programs and projects;
  • Connecting the classroom and the community;
  • Fostering the development of literacy education at the middle level;
  • Promoting research on the middle level student.

Award Specifics:  The award recipient is presented a plaque at the Middle Level Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention.

Established in 1996 by the Junior High/Middle School Assembly, this award honors Richard "Dick" Halle for his dedication to the Assembly and middle level education. The award became a Middle Level Section Award in February 2002 when the Assembly was dissolved.

Learn about the Junior High/Middle School Assembly, Halle Award, and the creation of the Middle Level Section in "Honoring the Past; Looking to the Future." 

Judging:  The Middle Level Section Steering Committee determines the winner based upon candidates meeting the criteria by June 1. Middle Level Section Steering Committee members are not eligible for this award during their tenure.

Past Winners: 

2015:  Beverly Ann Chin, University of Montana, Missoula
2014:  Jeffrey N. Golub, Seattle Washington
2013:  Tonya Perry, University of Alabama, Birmingham
2012:  No Award Given
2011:  Teri Lesesne, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX
2010:  James Johnston, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain
2009:  Roxanne Henkin, University of Texas, San Antonio
2008:  Howard Miller, Mercy College, Bronx, NY
2007:  Akiko Morimoto, Washington Middle School, Vista, CA
2006:  Karen Morgan Delbridge, Johnson Jr. High School, Cheyenne, WY
2005:  No Award Given
2004:  Kim Ford, Cypress Middle School, Memphis, TN
2003:  Sandra Hayes, Becker Middle School, Becker, MN
2002:  Karen Smith, Arizona State University, Tempe
2001:  Kylene Beers, University of Houston, TX
2000:  Martha Magner, MacArthur Barr Middle School, Nanuet, NY
1999:  Linda Rief, Oyster River Middle School, Durham, NH
1998:  Katherine Ramsey, Arnold Jr. High, Houston, TX
1997:  Lanny van Allen, Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX
1996:  Richard W. Halle, Marshfield, Jr. High, Marshfield, WI


Have questions or comments,
email us today!



Document and Site Resources

Share This On:

Page Tools:

Join NCTE Today

Related Search Terms


Copyright © 1998-2017 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy NEW! Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Visit us on:
Facebook Twitter Linked In Pinterest Instagram