This past fall was the 100th year celebration of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English affiliate organization. While that is a milestone, we are overjoyed to announce that this year is paramount for another reason: our president. Dr. Andrea Zellner is the first openly Queer President of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English. Her President’s letter in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan reminds us:
“To hold this position in a time in which the right to my own family has been upheld (Respect for Marriage Act signed into law by Biden on December 13) and celebrated is truly a dream. MCTE’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity has led to the moment in which I could openly and proudly be exactly who I am, instead of my identity representing a barrier to leadership within our profession. There were times in my career when I knew I could not be out, and my heart goes out to all the educators and all the students for whom their schools are not as safe as the spaces that I find myself inhabiting. It is the responsibility of all of us to continue to create safe spaces for all of our students to learn, and I am proud to be part of an organization that centers and celebrates the movement towards justice and equity.”
Let us take Zellner’s words as a call to action and continue to fight for equity among the most marginalized populations in education. And let us celebrate the landmark achievements of NCTE and its state affiliate work, well into 2023!