Your 2016 ALAN Election ballot is now accessible on the Internet. You will need your membership number, which can be found to the left of your name on the mailing label of your copies of The ALAN Review. If you need help with your membership number, please email Jim Blasingame for assistance at James.Blasingame@asu.edu.
Vote for ONE of the two candidates for President-Elect: Marshall A. George and Mark Letcher.
Vote for THREE of six candidates for the Board of Directors: Helene Halstead, Melanie Koss, Sean Kottke, Donalyn Miller, Lisa Scherff, and Sarah Ressler Wright.
Candidate bios are posted below.
Ready? Set! Click and vote!
2016 CANDIDATES FOR ALAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (VOTE FOR ONE)
Active in ALAN since 1996, Dr. Marshall A. George holds an endowed chair, the Olshan professorship, at Hunter College of the City University of New York where he teaches YA Literature to pre-service teachers. After being introduced to ALAN and the world of adolescent literature by his mentor, Ted Hipple, he has remained a devoted reader and active scholar in the field. He has published numerous articles focusing on adolescent literature in The ALAN Review, English Journal, Voices from the Middle, English Education, and various other professional journals. Prior to moving to higher education, Marshall taught ELA in grades 7-12. Having attended over a dozen ALAN workshops and planning numerous conferences has prepared Marshall well for planning the ALAN workshop. His leadership experiences are numerous, having served on the ALAN Board of Directors twice (2001-04 and 2013-16), as chair of the CEE Commission on the Teaching and Study of Adolescent Literature, on the Executive Committees of NCTE and CEE, and as Chair of CEE. He considers the nomination to run for the ALAN presidency an honor and a privilege.
Mark Letcher is currently an Assistant Professor of English Education, and the Director of the English Language Arts Teaching Program, at Lewis University, in Romeoville, IL. He teaches courses in young adult literature, graphic novels, composition pedagogy, secondary ELA methods, reading in the content areas, composition, and drama. He is particularly interested in how teachers incorporate YAL in their curricula, both in ELA other disciplines. An ALAN member since 2004, he has served as the state representative for Oklahoma, an ALAN Workshop consultant, chair of the Elections Committee, and a member of the Censorship Committee and Board of Directors. During the 2015-16 year, he is serving as chair of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee. He also served as the YAL editor for NCTE’s English Journal, from 2008-2013. Mark has presented on YAL, particularly LGBTQ issues in the field, at numerous conferences, including NCTE, ALAN, and PCA/ACA. His work has been published in English Journal, Research in the Teaching of English, College Composition and Communication, and Teaching Young Adult Literature Today (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).
2016 CANDIDATES FOR ALAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS (VOTE FOR THREE)
Helene Halstead is a Ph.D. candidate in Language and Literacy Education at UGA; her research investigates collaborative discussion in an in-school book club. She was an editor on the Journal of Language and Literacy Education and served as the 2016 conference chair. She has book reviews in multiple journals and has presented at SLRF, GCTE and ARF. She taught middle-grades language arts and was recognized as the Teacher of the Year; her passion for helping students become life-long readers inspired her to create the school’s Books-to-Home Library. Helene has been a member of ALAN for four years and has enjoyed her work at previous conferences where she moved and distributed books, was time-keeper and worked the first ALAN booth at NCTE. She is excited to support ALAN’s future work with her experience and passion for supporting students’ access to literature.
Melanie Koss has been an active member of ALAN for thirteen years, during which time she’s been the Illinois state representative, a member (2009) and chair (2010) of the ALAN Award committee, and a reviewer for The ALAN Review. In 2006 she received the ALAN Foundation Research Grant. She’s published several articles in The ALAN Review, as well as articles in Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Signal Journal, and other professional journals. For NCTE, she’s served on the Literacy and Learning Exchange and the Collaboration and Capacity Building Curation Team. She regularly presents at the NCTE conference and has presented at and moderated panels at The ALAN Workshop. As a professor of children’s and YA literature, Koss brings research and a current knowledge of the field to the Board of Directors, as well as a passion for the organization, which she considers her professional home.
Dr. Sean Kottke currently serves as the President of the Michigan Reading Association and as a Consultant within the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Professional Preparation Services, where he oversees standards for preparation and appropriate placement of teachers of English, language arts, and reading, and school librarians. He previously served as a Dean and professor at Miller College, where he developed and taught coursework in young adult literature and content area literacy. As Chair of MRA’s 2016 Annual Conference, he led MRA’s return to Detroit after a six-year absence. Sean has written for ALAN’s Under the Radar column since 2012, both published in and served as a reviewer for The ALAN Review, and presented at the ALAN Workshop, NCTE and IRA. He is a former high school Humanities teacher and the proud father of three adult readers.
Donalyn Miller taught upper elementary and middle school students in Northeast Texas, and was a finalist for 2010 Texas Teacher of the Year. Donalyn is the author of The Book Whisperer (Jossey-Bass, 2009) and Reading in the Wild (Jossey-Bass, 2013), which explore independent reading best practices and practical strategies for engaging students with reading. Donalyn’s articles about teaching and reading have appeared in publications such as Education Week Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, and The Washington Post. Donalyn served as a member of the NCTE/CLA Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Committee and NCTE’s Spokesperson Network. She currently serves on ALAN’s Nilsen-Donelson Award Committee. Donalyn is the co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club blog, and co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat, #titletalk. Donalyn is a board member of the Book Love Foundation and Changing Lenses/Changing Lives.
Lisa Scherff has been a literacy educator at the high school and university levels since 1996 and has served NCTE and ALAN in numerous volunteer, elected, and invited roles: past president of the Alabama Council of Teachers of English, past chair of the NCTE Assembly for Research, journal co-editor, and member of the Resolutions and Nominating Committees. She is currently serving her second year on the Amelia Elizabeth Walden and Joan F. Kaywell Award Committees. Lisa is the co-author of Teaching YA Lit through Differentiated Instruction, and her research on young adult literature has appeared in The ALAN Review and English Journal. This breadth and depth of professional involvement has not only provided Lisa with a wealth of experience but also practice at sharpening her organization and communication skills, which would serve her well in this important leadership role.
Sarah Ressler Wright
Sarah Ressler Wright, NBCT, loves YA literature, education, organizing, and working with others. She has been a member of NCTE for 18 years, and has been on the Board of Directors for the Ohio NCTE affiliate, OCTELA, since 2008, including a three-year Presidential term from 2012-2015. Sarah taught high school English for thirteen years and was the 2010 OCTELA Secondary Teacher of the Year. In 2013, Sarah became her high school’s librarian, and her teaching experience provided insights into how librarians could promote the love of YA reading in English classrooms and beyond. She presented these strategies at a 2015 ALAN breakout session and is presenting on LGBTQ resources at the 2016 ALAN workshop. Sarah also shares weekly vocabulary strategies and activities on her VocabGal blog. She would love to bring her passion, dedication, and knowledge to the ALAN Board.