NCTE Brings Together More Than 8,000 Educators in Baltimore for Annual Convention - National Council of Teachers of English

NCTE Brings Together More Than 8,000 Educators in Baltimore for Annual Convention


Press Contact: Natasha Lesser, Hatcher Group,, or Janelle Martin, NCTE,


BALTIMORE, MD (Nov. 25, 2019) – Just a week before Thanksgiving, the 109th National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention took place in Baltimore, MD, Nov. 21–24. The event drew more than 8,000 educators from across the nation and other countries to connect, learn from each other, and leave rejuvenated and inspired.

“Every day, we’re honored to support the brilliant, dedicated literary educators making a difference in the lives of our students,” says Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE Executive Director. “The Annual Convention is always a special time to celebrate our successes, learn from experts and leaders in the field, and renew our commitment to the work and to each other—and to fill our suitcases with more books! This year was no different.”

This year, 879 sessions were held on topics such as antiracism in the classroom, books to spark conversation around mental health, and remaking the literary canon. Additionally, the 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall was filled with 143 exhibitors including publishers, literary and cultural organizations and nonprofits, universities, and education companies.

Featured speakers included bestselling authors Tara Westover, Tonya Bolden, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Actor, author, and activist George Takei served as a keynote speaker, opening the conference on Thursday evening. The Children’s Book Awards Luncheon on Saturday featured the 2019 Orbis Pictus Award winners, Sandra Neil Wallace and Bryan Collier (Between the Lines), and the 2019 Charlotte Huck Award winner, Jonathan Auxier (Sweep, the Story of a Girl and Her Monster).

The Convention also celebrated the recipients of NCTE’s highest honors:

  • NCTE LGBTQ+ Advocacy & Leadership Award: Mollie V. Blackburn, professor at The Ohio State University
  • NCTE Leadership Award for People with Disabilities: Stephanie L. Kerschbaum, associate professor of English at the University of Delaware
  • NCTE Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award: David E. Kirkland, professor of English and urban education at New York University
  • Distinguished Service Award: Ernest Morrell, Coyle Professor of Literacy Education and director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame
  • James R. Squire Award: Kathleen Blake Yancey, professor of English and distinguished research professor at Florida State University
  • National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers: Cicely Lewis, school librarian at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, GA
  • Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry: Rick Coppola, English language arts teacher at South Loop Elementary School in Chicago, IL

This year’s conference theme was “Spirited Inquiry.” The 2020 Annual Convention will take place Nov. 19–22 in Denver, CO.


The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting more than 25,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum. Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.