Congratulations to those who were elected to offices in the ALAN organization! The results are posted below.
Steve Bickmore is an associate professor of English Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Director of the Literacy Program; Co-editor of Study and Scrutiny; and editor of Dr. Bickmore’s YA Wednesday. He was formerly a high school English teacher, CEE Executive Committee member (2012-16), CEE Nominating Committee member (2010), and co-editor of The ALAN Review (2009-14). He is a member of NCTE, CEE, ALAN, SIGNAL, AERA, LRA, and AMLE. He has published in English Education, English Journal, The ALAN Review, SIGNAL, Principal Leadership, Teaching and Teacher Education. Dr. Bickmore’s academic career has focused on the research and teaching of young adult literature within the context of race, class, and gender issues. His instructional and research commitments with preservice teachers, practicing teachers, librarians, and community members align with the work and mission of ALAN. Bickmore sees leadership in the organization as an opportunity to serve by supporting and advancing the scholarship surrounding young adult literature. Finally, he believes, as Joan Kaywell frequently states, “Books Save Lives” and thus recognizes that providing access to diverse books, in all its varieties, is the critical work for ALAN and its members.
Jennifer Ansbach has spent 20 years teaching high school English and using YA to ignite students’ love of reading. In 2013, she was awarded a Hipple Grant to build a community of readers in her high school around Divergent, engaging faculty members from all disciplines along with students. Last fall, Jennifer and her co-vice president of NJCTE coordinated a YA-focused fall conference for the state affiliate. She has been a member of NCTE since 2000 and of ALAN since 2012. Since listening to Laurie Halse Anderson speak in Philadelphia, she has attended most ALAN breakfasts. She has published several articles in English Journal and English Leadership Quarterly. Last year, she was honored to present the Get LIT! Players at the ALAN workshop in Atlanta. For several years, she has been seen early at ALAN helping carry boxes for ALAN attendees.
Courtney Johnson has spent more than 40% of her life teaching the kids of inner city Columbus, Ohio. Although that makes her feel old, talking to kids about books every day as a school librarian makes her feel young. She came to her first ALAN Workshop three years ago, and now she reviews manuscripts for The ALAN Review and books for ALAN Picks. In 2014, Courtney’s classroom was the grateful recipient of Penny Kittle’s Book Love Foundation Grant. Courtney is a member of Pink TIGers, a teacher inquiry group that works to make schools safer spaces for LGBTQIA+ students. She is a contributing author on their forthcoming book, Standing Up, and has presented with this group at three NCTE Annual Conferences. As an active member of NEA, Courtney has testified before Congress three times on behalf of teachers and kids.
Nancy Johnson was the kid who turned down a ride home from school so that she could read (and walk) with no interruptions—and the kid who vowed to read every book in the county library. She was the teen who found little connection to required classic texts in classes where response was relegated to exams or prescriptive essays. She was the teacher who made introducing books and authors to her students a priority and who committed to reading aloud, no matter the grade (even graduate students). Now, Nancy is the reader who chooses to read books for young adults, who never misses attending NCTE and ALAN, who served on the Walden Committee, who directs her university’s children’s/young adult literature conference, and who remains committed to YA literature as real literature for all readers, especially teens who don’t think books belong in (or reflect) their lives.