Kent D. Williamson Fellowship - National Council of Teachers of English

Congratulations to Grace Eunhye Lee, our 2018-19 Kent D. Williamson Policy Fellow.

Lee is an English language arts teacher at Hinckley-Big Rock Middle School in Illinois. She is also researching about educational policy and practice as a doctoral student at the University of Illinois.


The Kent D. Williamson Fellowship is awarded to an NCTE member who would like to commit ideas and experience to education policy work while maintaining their role as a full-time teacher, faculty member, literacy coach, supervisor, or chair. Over the course of 12 months the Fellow will connect with current and potential literacy and advocacy initiatives with which NCTE is involved. Their work will include researching and writing about these issues as well as traveling to Washington, DC two to four times over the course of a year for strategic meetings with groups such as staff members in the Department of Education and in the House and Senate, as well as potentially at planned events, to provide a teacher perspective. NCTE will collaborate with the Fellow who is chosen for this position to ensure their talents and experience guide the choice of policy and advocacy activities in accordance with the organization’s annual policy priorities

Application Process:  

The 2018–19 Williamson Fellow application is now closed. We will open the application again in the spring of 2019.



  • Fellow is employed or anticipates employment as a teacher, faculty member, literacy coach, supervisor, or chair 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 two 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 their year serving in this role.


NCTE will provide the Fellow with the following:

Reimbursement for travel (food, lodging, and transportation) to and from Washington, DC, two to four times over the course of the year. Trips will likely take place once in the fall, winter/spring, and/or summer. We will make every effort to plan these trips in advance.

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 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 résumé,
  • two letters of recommendation including one from an employer/supervisor, and
  • a policy-related writing sample.

Application Submission Process

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

Selection Process

  • NCTE will analyze all the applications, and depending on the size of the candidate pool, consider narrowing the pool to four or five finalists.
  • If requested, finalists will conduct a live video interview with NCTE staff and/or NCTE’s Policy & Advocacy Subcommittee.
  • NCTE’s Policy & Advocacy Subcommittee, with input from the Executive Director, will evaluate the finalists and make a selection.