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Conference on English Leadership Awards - Previous Revision

2011 Exemplary Leader

Kylene Beers

Kylene Beers is the Senior Reading Advisor to Secondary Schools for the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Through her books, workshops, summer institute presentations, consultations and numerous publications, she has influenced an incredible number of teachers of reading.  She has helped teachers of other disciplines understand that they must help students learn to read if they are to succeed in their subject.  Dr. Beers book When Kids Can’t Read, What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12 is the capstone of contributions she has made through her writing.  She has been the senior author or contributing author for numerous national textbooks for public schools, including Elements of Literature, Grades 6-12.  She was co-editor of Adolescent LiteracyTurning Promise into Practice/ A Handbook for Teachers, Principals and Policy Makers, a book which serves as the guide for teacher learning communities.  Beers was two-term chair of the National Adolescent Literacy Coalition, a coalition of over sixty national organizations working together to solve issues of adolescent literacy.  She has served NCTE in varied capacities, including as editor of Voices from the Middle for seven years and as President of NCTE 2008-2009.  Dr. Beers has served the council, the profession, and students of all ages with energy, commitment and distinction throughout her career.

Hear Dr. Beers speak at the 2011 CEL Annual Convention!



2010 English Leadership Quarterly Best Article

Winner: Dr. Tamara K. O'Hearn, Manchester College, North Manchester, Indiana, Unearthing Writing in Unlikely Places, August 2009 issue of ELQ


Dr. Tamara O'Hearn is an experienced teacher and writing program administrator who specializes in helping individuals become better writers and stronger thinkers by diagnosing existing learning difficulties, psychological barriers and environmental obstacles to writing and learning processes. She has worked with students from elementary age, to graduate students undergoing the dissertation writing process, and with various groups of students including those from under-represented neighborhoods, ESL students and special needs students. She believes that every student has the ability to succeed and can learn essential skills to help them complete their academic journey and meet their desired goals.

Tamara previously worked with writing programs at James Madison University, Ball State University and Indiana University and has 23 years experience in college teaching and administration. She has been an assistant professor at both Ball State University and Indiana University working specifically for the Advanced College Project.

She is currently Director of the Writing Center and an Assistant Professor of English at Manchester College, living in the town of North Manchester with her twin daughters, Cassi and Chelsea, who are both avid readers and writers. 




Honorable Mention: Melissa Simons with Lindsey Hilgenkamp and Pat McCoy, Elkhorn High School, Nebraska, The Other Ten Percent, February 2009 issue of the ELQ.

Melissa Simons continues to teach ESLA 9 and other English courses at Elkhorn South High School in Omaha, Nebraska. She holds an undergraduate degree in English and Secondary Education from Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) and a M.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She may be reached at

Lindsey (Hilgenkamp) Newton teaches English at Elkhorn South High School in Omaha, Nebraska.  After completing her undergraduate work at Midland Lutheran College, she went on to pursue her Master’s in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  She may be reached at

Patricia McCoy teaches at Elkhorn High School in Elkhorn, Nebraska.  She holds an undergraduate degree in English from Creighton University and a M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  She may be reached at

"The articles were well written, they piqued our thinking about teaching, and they proved useful for classroom teachers to improve their practice." ~Susan L. Groenke, Editor, English Leadership Quarterly.


Best Article Award - Criteria 


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