You do exceptional things in the classroom every single day. NCTE is here to recognize them.
CEL Kent Williamson Exemplary Leader Award
2020 Winner: Linda Rief
Linda Rief left the classroom in June of 2019 after 40 years of learning with eighth graders. She is an instructor in the University of New Hampshire’s Summer Literacy Institute and a national and international presenter on issues of adolescent literacy. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Quickwrite Handbook, Read Write Teach, and Inside the Writer’s-Reader’s Notebook (2007). For five years she co-edited Voices from the Middle. Her classroom was featured in the series Making Meaning in Literature produced by Maryland Public Television for Annenberg/CPB. For three years she chaired the first Early Adolescence ELA Standards Committee of the NBPTS. In 1988 she was the recipient of one of two Kennedy Center Fellowships for Teachers of the Arts. She spent a month at the Kennedy Center, writing prose and poetry based on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She read her writing in performance at the Kennedy Center, a program later broadcast on NPR.
The award was presented at the Opening Session during the CEL Annual Convention .
Nomination Deadline: March 1
Purpose: The award is given annually to an NCTE member who is an outstanding English language arts educator and leader.
Award Criteria: NCTE and CEL members are encouraged to nominate an exceptional leader who has had an ongoing impact on the profession through the following:
- Work that has focused on exceptional teaching and/or leadership practices;
- Contributions to the profession through involvement at the local, regional, and national levels;
- Presentations, workshops, and publications that have had an impact upon school leaders.
Candidates not selected for the year in which they are nominated will receive consideration for the next two years.
Award Specifics: The recipient receives a plaque, CEL Luncheon ticket, a one-year complimentary CEL membership, and the gift of a one-year complimentary CEL membership to present to a colleague. The recipient may also be invited to speak at the CEL Convention. The award is presented at the Sunday CEL Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention.
The CEL Kent Williamson Exemplary Leader Award is named in honor of Kent D. Williamson (1957-2015), who served as NCTE’s Executive Director from 2000-2015.
Nomination Materials: All nominations must contain the Nomination Form, at least two letters of recommendation, and the candidate’s curriculum vitae.Nomination Form
Judging: The CEL Award Committee determines the recipient from the nominations submitted within the calendar year. For full consideration, award applications must be received no later than March 1. Candidates not selected for the year in which they are nominated will receive consideration for the next two years.
CEL Kent Williamson Exemplary Leader Award Winners
2019 Dr. Ernest Morrell
2018 Pam Allyn
2017 Tom Romano, Miami University, Oxford, OH
2016 Carol Jago, University of California, Los Angeles
2015 Penny Kittle, Kennett High School, North Conway, NH