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WLU Awards

The WLU awards honor members who view whole language as a dynamic philosophy of education.

All three awards are given at the discretion of the WLU Executive Board from nominations submitted to the WLU Awards Committee. The nomination deadline is January 15 each year for all three awards

The awards are presented at the Opening Session during the WLU Literacies for All Summer Institute. A brief review of the recipient’s contribution is given followed by the presentation of a plaque or certificate.



Service Award

Award Winners

Amy Seely Flint, 2016
Dorothy Watson, 2015
David Schultz, 2014
Dorothy Menosky, 2013
Kenneth & Yetta Goodman, 2012
Katie Van Sluys, 2011
Bess Altwerger, 2010
Caryl Crowell, 2009
Stephen Krashen, 2008
Rick Meyer, 2007
Stephanie Sperling, 2006
Nancy Creech, 2005
Lorraine Wilson, 2004
Susan Spear, 2002
Dorothy King, Shirley Crenshaw, 2001
Peter Krause, 2000
Susan Spear, 1999
Jane and Jerry Bartow, 1998
Barbara Bell & Carol Gilles, 1995

The WLU Service Award is presented to a member who has made a particular contribution to the Whole Language Umbrella in terms of the work they have done for the organization. The work may have a particular focus such as newsletter or journal development, or it may be organizational, such as serving on the Executive Board or working with particular groups within the organization. The key consideration for the Service Award will be consistent involvement in the organizational structures of WLU.  

Service Award Nomination Form


Amy Seely Flint2016 Award Recipient:
Amy Seely Flint
University of Louisville, KY



Lifetime Membership Award

Award Winners

Debra Goodman, 2016
Don Holdaway, 2015
Richard Meyer, 2014
Kathryn Whitmore, 2013
Prisca Martens, 2012
Lorraine Wilson, 2011
Carol Gilles, 2010
Amy Seely Flint, 2009
David Schultz, 2008
Paul Crowley, 2007
Bess Altwerger, 2006
Maryann Manning, 2004
Brian Cambourne, 2002
Carole Edelsky, 2001
Jerry Harste, 2000
Ralph Peterson, 1998
Orin Cochrane, 1996
1995 Award presented to Founding Mothers of Whole  Language: 
Ethel Buchanon, Carolyn Burke,
Yetta Goodman, Rudine Sims Bishop, Dorothy Menosky, Norma Mickelson, Margaret Stevenson, Dorothy Watson
Ethel Buchanan, 1994
Yetta Goodman, Bill Martin, Jr.,
Dorothy Watson, 1993
Kenneth Goodman, 1992

The WLU Lifetime Membership Award is presented to a member who has, throughout his/her career, made an outstanding contribution to whole language in general and/or the Whole Language Umbrella in particular. Among the types of contributions considered are setting in place organizational structures; founding TAWL groups; serving on the WLU Executive Board; serving as a leader of an Interest Action Group; facilitating conference organization; long term commitment in speaking to and working with TAWL groups and WLU. The overall profile of the person will be considered with key consideration given to career accomplishments demonstrated through a variety of means.

Lifetime Membership Nomination Form


Debra Goodman2016 Award Recipient:
Debra Goodman
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Hofstra University Press Release

Read "Comments on receiving the Whole Language Umbrella 2016 Lifetime Membership Award" by Debra Goodman



Reclaiming the Joy of Teaching Award


This award honors a preK-12 teacher that inspires authentic progressive literacy learning.

Joy of Teaching Award Nomination Form

Award Winners

Shelli Thelen, Mary Paxton Keeley Elementary, Columbia, MO, 2016
Kathryn Moore, Har-Bar High School, Fayetteville, AR, 2015
Caryl Crowell, Borton primary Magnet School, Tucson, AZ, 2014
Kathryn Mitchell Pierce, Wydown Middle School, St. Louis, MO, 2014
Joni Fujita, Noelani Elementary School, Honolulu, HI, 2013
Jennifer Wilson, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 2012



Questions about the awards can be emailed to



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