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Kent D. Williamson Fellowship

Kent D. Williamson Fellowship

Kent Williamson's commitment to teacher leadership has manifested itself in many NCTE goals and initiatives. To honor that commitment, NCTE is establishing the Kent D. Williamson Fellowship. This annual fellowship is awarded to an NCTE member selected to spend six weeks in the Washington, DC office to apply his or her ideas and experience to education policy work.

During the time in Washington, DC, the Fellow will meet with staff members in the Department of Education and in the House and Senate, advise NCTE Policy Analysts, write blog entries for the NCTE website, and connect with NCTE current and potential literacy and advocacy initiatives. Prior to the start-time in Washington, DC, NCTE will collaborate with the Fellow to ensure their talents and experience guide the choice of policy and advocacy activities.

Application Process:  The 2017-2018 Williamson Fellow will be selected through an application process described below.


  • Fellow is or anticipates employment as a teacher or school leader during the time of the Fellowship.
  • Fellow must be a teacher of English/literacy/language/composition.
  • Fellow must be an NCTE member.
  • Fellow should have a minimum of 2-3 years of teaching experience.
  • Fellow should have strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Fellow should have relevant insights and experiences to education policy, experience with work or activities that have effectively prepared them for fellowship tasks, and support from school, community, and other educational leaders.
  • Fellow should have a demonstrated interest in public policy.
  • Fellow must be able to work well independently and in a team setting.

The Fellow will submit a final report following his or her month in Washington, DC.

Compensation:  NCTE will provide the Fellow with the following:

  • Reimbursement for travel to and from Washington, DC, as well as public transit during the Fellowship (metro or bus, not to exceed $1,500.00).
  • Funds for living accommodations in Washington, DC (not to exceed $3,500 for 60 days).
  • Honoraria in the amount of $3,000 mid-way through the Fellowship.
  • All other expenses are the responsibility of the Fellow.
  • NCTE works a typical Monday-Friday work week, 9am-5pm.

Application Materials:

Candidates must fill out the online application and provide a written application letter describing:

  • their commitment to development of literacy policy;
  • the value which they hope to derive from the Fellowship;
  • their particular policy interests; and,
  • the local policy decision making in which they have participated at the school, district, and/or state level.

In addition, candidates must submit:

  • a detailed resume;
  • two letters of recommendation including one from an employer/supervisor; and,
  • a policy writing sample.

Candidates must also complete a policy memo exercise based on ONE of the topics that NCTE provides (e.g. local/state/federal initiatives to further English language learning programs and promote more equity for students these programs OR state/local initiatives that can better analyze teacher/educator performance in literacy OR how local, state, and federal education agencies can further partnerships with the private sector to enhance early childhood literacy programs).

Policy memos must be 1,000 words or less and provide analysis and/or recommendations to the specific policy topic. For assistance with writing a policy memo, click here for more guidance.

Application Submission Process:

All materials (including the online application, application letter, resume, two letters of recommendation, policy writing sample, and policy memo) must be submitted by February 28, 2017 to

Materials must be submitted as one package, and incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Selection Process:

  • NCTE will analyze all the applications and select the finalists.
  • Finalists will conduct a live video interview with NCTE staff.
  • NCTE will evaluate the finalists and make a selection.


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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts