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Key NCTE Staff

Executive Director:  Emily Kirkpatrick 


NCTE Intellectual Freedom Center Director:  Millie Davis

NCTE Presidential Team:

NCTE President Doug Hesse 

Doug Hesse is professor of English and executive director of writing at the University of Denver. He is the founding chair of the NCTE/Norman Mailer National Student Writing Awards, co-developer of the NCTE National Day on Writing; and a past chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

The author of Creating Nonfiction and The Simon and Schuster Handbook for Writers, Hesse has also written articles and chapters in English Journal; College English; College Composition and Communication; Computers in Composition; College Credit for Writing in High School; Who Speaks for Writing?; Passions, Pedagogies, and 21st Century Technologies; Teaching Writing Teachers; Short Story Theory; and Literary Nonfiction. 

About working with NCTE, Hesse says, “Having a leadership position in the National  Council of Teachers of English is like being concertmaster in a symphony of literacy virtuosos. Never have opportunities and demands for reading, writing, and thinking loomed larger, but I take great heart in our nation’s thousands of expert  English teachers, pre-K through college. Our students need work-related skills, absolutely. But they also need broad literate abilities in a society where decisions are made, ideas are shaped,  relationships are formed, and meanings are created through language. Really, what could be more rewarding than to help orchestrate this enterprise?"

Program Chair Doug Hesse talks about the 2015 NCTE Annual Convention on Education Talk Radio and in these short videos on NCTE's YouTube channel.


NCTE President-Elect Susan Houser

Susan Houser, who completed a doctoral degree in educational leadership in 2014,  retired in 2014 from the Pinellas County Schools after teaching middle school reading, language arts, and gifted language arts for 14 years. She previously taught elementary and middle grade reading and language arts in the Duval County Public Schools, and recently taught courses in elementary education at Keiser University in Sarasota and general education English at Remington College in Tampa.

In 2011 NCTE named Houser Outstanding Middle Level Educator in the Language Arts (previously known as the Edwin A. Hoey Award). From 2005 to 2014 she held a variety of committee and leadership positions with NCTE. Houser has also served as president and executive board member of the Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE) and coordinator of the FCTE Advocacy Team.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to be elected vice president of the National Council of Teachers of English," Susan Houser said upon her election. "My most sincere desire is to represent the classroom teachers of English language arts, whether they are preschool teachers or college professors. I hope that in some way, my being elected to this position can shine a light on the real educational reform that needs to occur in America today. I hope to lead our organization in making an impression, and if necessary, a loud call, to the political leaders of our country to invest in changes that will help us move forward as teacher leaders and directors of our profession. We must not continue to allow others to be in charge of what is our professional responsibility – to be recognized as the best educators in the world."

Program Chair Susan Houser talks about the 2016 NCTE Annual Convention in this short video on NCTE's YouTube channel.


NCTE Vice President Jocelyn Chadwick

Jocelyn Chadwick has more than 30 years experience as a teacher, scholar, and author. Spending the first ten years of her career as a high school English teacher, Chadwick went on to inspire young minds at higher learning institutions in Texas. She recently served as professor of English at Harvard University in the Graduate School of Education and is now a guest lecturer at Harvard, She is also a nationally recognized Mark Twain scholar. Chadwick has presented papers and workshops around the country and abroad. She has served NCTE as chair of the Secondary Section Steering Committee (2012-14); as a member of the NCTE Executive Committee (2012-14); and as a member of the Standing Committee Against Censorship (2002-04).

"As NCTE’s Vice President, my goal is to see our organization recognized as a protean resource on which not only our members, but also their colleagues in other content areas, rely and view as a definitive and expert source of information," Jocelyn Chadwick said at the time of her election in June of 2015. ys. "NCTE’s declared commitment and vision now move us into an active context where we assert our voices; we assume responsibility for and commitment to our profession; we proactively make the recommendations for improvement and implementation of instruction, preparation, and accountability."

In her English Journal article, Jocelyn Chadwick describes classroom activities for making characters relevant to contemporary students' lives:  "Making Characters Come Alive: Using Characters for Identification and Engagement"


NCTE Past President Kathy Short

Kathy Short teaches in the Language, Reading, and Culture program at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and works with graduate teaching assistants on a children’s literature course that is taken by preservice teachers in elementary and early childhood education. Currently director of World of Words, an initiative focused on encouraging thoughtful dialogue around children’s literature to build bridges across global cultures, Short serves on the Notable Books for a Global Society Award Committee as well as the editorial boards of Language Arts, Reading Research Quarterly, and Literary Research Association (NRC) Yearbook. 

The 2011 NCTE Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts has a long history with the National Council of Teachers of English. She has held positions on NCTE’s Executive Committee, Commission on Curriculum, and Study Group and Teleconference Project. The former elementary classroom teacher also served as chair of NCTE’s Elementary Section Steering Committee. 

“NCTE has always been my professional home, the place where I replenish my spirit and focus as an educator,” Kathy Short says. “NCTE has taken a leadership role in the public debates about literacy and language in schools and universities. Through dialogue between the communities within NCTE as well as with other professional organizations and public groups, we can develop new possibilities and relationships to make literacy more accessible for all students. Our work together is rooted in the life shared by teachers and students in classrooms and in a shared goal of creating literate, critically-conscious global citizens.”

Inquiry as a Way of Life: Kathy G. Short, 2011 Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts  


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