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CEL Kent Williamson Exemplary Leader Award - Previous Revision

 2014 Exemplary Leader:  Doug Fisher

Douglas Brian Fisher, extraordinary teacher, literacy leader, researcher, and writer, is the recipient of the Conference on English Leadership’s Exemplary Leader Award for 2014. Dr. Fisher has maintained an active teaching career at San Diego State University while also working intensively with schools and districts across the United States and internationally. He has served as dean of faculty affairs for the past seven years for the Health Sciences High and Middle College, a public charter school focused on college and career pathways in health care that enrolls a highly diverse population of first- and second-generation students from across the globe. Dr. Fisher is known for his support of long-term partnerships with school districts where he promotes an innovative site leadership model that builds capacity at the school level. Of note is his work with the Chula Vista Elementary School District that serves 28,000 students, 35% who are English language learners. On any given day, Dr. Fisher may be found meeting the superintendent, planning with a group of fourth grade teachers, and collaborating with special educators on methods for supporting students with disabilities.

Dr. Fisher has presented at NCTE, IRA, ASCD and for myriad other professional groups, bringing an engaging and dynamic style that is thoughtfully rooted in his work with educators and their students. He has written or co-written dozens of professional books and texts as well as many dozens of articles and chapters. Two recent publications include Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading and the series Common Core ELA in a PLC at Work. Both provide important information in teacher-friendly language.

As the former recipient of numerous research and publication awards and an educator who continues to lead literacy at every level, Dr. Douglas Fisher is a visionary who exemplifies the qualities of the CEL Exemplary Leader Award.

Doug will be presented with this award during the CEL Convention in Washington, DC on Sunday, November 23, 2014, at the CEL Sunday Luncheon.


Award Criteria
The CEL Award for Exemplary Leadership is given annually to an NCTE member who is an outstanding English language arts educator and leader. NCTE and CEL members nominate an exceptional leader who has had an impact on the profession through ONE or MORE of the following: 

  • work that has focused on exceptional teaching and/or leadership practices (e.g., building effective department, grade level, or building teams; developing curriculum or processes for practicing ELA educators; or mentoring)
  • contributions to the profession through involvement at both the local and national levels

  • presentations, workshops, and publications that have had an impact upon school leaders

Nomination letters and curriculum vitae should be sent to the CEL representative by FEBRUARY 1 for consideration within the calendar year. Candidates not selected for the year in which they are nominated will receive consideration for the next two years. 

Please print and mail the nomination form along with nomination letters and curriculum vitae to: 

Dr. Rebecca Sipe
Eastern Michigan University
English Dept-612 J Pray Harrold
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
RE: CEL Exemplary Leader Award

The award includes a plaque, recognition on the CEL website, and at the Sunday CEL Luncheon, a CEL luncheon ticket, and CEL registration. It may also include an invitation to be the luncheon speaker in a later year or to speak at the CEL Convention.


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