The following candidates are running for the indicated offices in the ALAN leadership. Many thanks to the ALAN Elections Committee for their hard work in this process. Members can cast their votes by clicking the button below. (Note that you will need your ALAN member number, which can be found to the left of your name on the mailing label for The ALAN Review. If you have difficulty finding it, email Jim Blasingame.)
Voting closes on October 15
ALAN President (Vote for One)
Nancy Johnson was most recently professor of Children’s/Young Adult Literature & English Education at Western Washington University and founder/director of their annual Children’s/Young Adult Literature Conference for 16 years. She is currently fundraising for a Speakers in Schools initiative linked to the Conference. Nancy’s most recent work with teenagers was a three-year stint as an 8th grade language arts teacher at the Singapore American School. There she made creating readers a priority by reading aloud, book talking, activating book clubs, and collaborating with kids, authors, and colleagues to make it “cool to be a reader.” A long-time member and frequent presenter at NCTE, Nancy is actively involved with ALAN, serving on the ALAN Board and a member of the Walden Committee. An avid reader and book reviewer, Nancy never misses attending NCTE and ALAN (even when she taught overseas!), considers herself book-lucky as a judge on the Newbery and Caldecott committees (and currently on the Outstanding International Books for Children and Teens committee), and remains committed to YA literature as real literature for all readers, especially teens who don’t think books belong in (or reflect) their lives.
Dani King-Watkins has been a proud member of ALAN since 2006. She has been an Assistant Editor and reviewer for The ALAN Review, as well as a Board member, and has served on and chaired the Nilsen-Donelson Committee. During the annual workshop, Dani enjoys moderating author panels, volunteering in the ALAN booth, and assisting with the author reception. Dani began her career teaching high school English, where she also had rewarding experiences mentoring student teachers. This motivated her to begin teaching university courses for pre-service teachers as she pursued her Ph.D., which she earned from the University of Connecticut. She has presented at both NCTE and ALAN, as well as at AERA and state conferences. Her work focuses on YA literature, specifically as it relates to the intersection of disability and sport, as well as to student readers in alternative school settings. Dani’s passion for the power of YA literature has grown each year through her interactions with her ALAN colleagues and friends, and she is dedicated to continuing the important work of ALAN.
ALAN Board (Vote for Three)
Rob Bittner recently completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the iSchool (Library, Archival, and Information Studies) at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC. He has worked as a sessional instructor for the last decade, teaching on subjects of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies, as well as children’s and young adult literature in courses for aspiring teachers and librarians. Rob is currently the Vice President of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes Board of Directors, and has previously served on committees for the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), including the Newbery, Children’s Literature Legacy, and Printz award committees. He recently finished his third year on the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, and has been a moderator, presenter, and consultant for panels at both ALAN and NCTE over the last five years.
Shalonda Foster is currently the principal at Western Middle School for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky. She has also been a middle school Language Arts teacher, resource teacher, and assistant principal in Louisville, Kentucky and ELA teacher and professional development instructor in Gwinnett County, Georgia. As a strong advocate for equity of students of underserved populations, Shalonda’s passions include helping educators build inclusive classrooms and school libraries (including her own school’s Project Lit chapter) and student choice. Shalonda has been a member of NCTE/ALAN over the years and presented a session entitled Integrating the Arts to Raise Student Voice at the 2018 NCTE Annual Convention in Houston, Texas. She is eager about the opportunity to become more active in ALAN. Outside of NCTE/ALAN, Shalonda was the Wiseman Group 2017 Multiplier of the Year in Education/Non-Profit.
Karly Marie Grice is currently an Assistant Professor of English Education at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she teaches English methods and adolescent literature to pre-service teachers. She taught high school English in South Carolina before receiving higher degrees in English (MA) and Education (PhD) specializing in multicultural young adult literature. She helped organize the 2016 Children’s Literature Association’s (ChLA) annual conference and is currently on ChLA’s Edited Book Award Committee. Her first NCTE experience was the SCCTE conference as a young high school teacher where she first learned about Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide, transforming her entire approach to YAL. Since then, she’s presented at four NCTE conventions on critical approaches to YAL and teacher education. In 2018, she was honored to receive the Nilsen-Donelson Award for her co-authored article on rural working-class narratives in YAL published in The ALAN Review.
Keisha Rembert is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Preparation at National Louis University (NLU) and a former 15+ year middle school English and History educator. Her passion for equity, social justice and youth literature coalesce in her membership and work on the National Council for Teachers of English’s Committee Against Racism and Bias, as a member of ALAN’s Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and in her service on the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center’s Educator Advisory Board. In 2019, Keisha was named Illinois History Teacher of the Year as well as the 2019 National Council for Teachers of English Outstanding Middle-Level English Educator. As an ALAN Board member, Keisha will bring a commitment to equity and advocacy along with a reflection of how adolescent literature impacts and can free all students, especially students who exist on the margins.
Terri Suico is a former high school English teacher and a current associate professor of education at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, where she works with pre-service teachers in classes on curriculum, assessment, literacy, and content-area reading. One of her favorite aspects of her job is helping students find books that connect with and expand their interests and the interests of their students. Terri is involved in the Indiana Council of Teachers of English (ICTE), the state affiliate of NCTE. She formed the steering committee to revive the affiliate in 2016 and serves as the ICTE’s Executive Treasurer. She also is the interview and book review editor for Study and Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature. An active member of NCTE and ALAN, she is a peer reviewer for English Journal and The ALAN Review, has moderated ALAN author panels, and is the chair of the Smith-Carlsen Committee.
Julia E. Torres is a veteran language arts teacher-librarian in Denver, Colorado. Julia works with students and teachers locally and around the country with the goal of empowering them to use literacy to fuel resistance and positive social transformation. Julia has been a member of NCTE since 2009 and has previously served as the Colorado NCTE affiliate Vice-president and President. Julia currently serves on several local and national boards and committees promoting educational equity and progressivism. She is a current ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee Member, NCTE Secondary Representative-at-large, Book Love Foundation board member, The Educator Collaborative Book Ambassador, and Educolor Collective Steering Committee member.