Elementary Section 2018 Elections

The Elementary Section Steering Committee (ESSC) members are elected each year to a four-year term. The Chair is elected from within the ESSC for a two-year term and serves on the NCTE Executive Committee representing the interests of the elementary membership.

The Nominating Committee prepares a slate of candidates for vacancies that occur annually on the Elementary Section Steering Committee and selects candidates for the succeeding year’s Elementary Section Nominating Committee. The candidate who receives the largest number of votes in the election will chair the committee.

Learn more through the ESSC Annual Report and ESSC Member Activities Responsibilities.


About the 2018 Candidates

Under the constitution of NCTE, every spring each Section (Elementary, Middle Level, Secondary, College) elects members of its own Section Steering Committee and members of the Section Nominating Committee. The following nominations were made by a nominating committee elected by the section membership in spring 2017.

The Elementary Section Nominating Committee this year consists of Nancy Valdez-Gainer, Blazier Elementary School, Austin, Texas, chair; Chinyere Harris, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York; and Kindel Nash, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Names on the ballot are presented in random order. The biographical information concerning the nominee’s experience and service to NCTE was supplied by the individual nominee.

View candidate bios below, or download a PDF of the bios here.

Steering Committee

(two to be elected; term to expire November 2021)

Section Committee members elect a chair who represents section concerns on the NCTE Executive Committee. Through correspondence and meetings once or twice a year, the members identify and explore issues of section concern. Often the Section Committee will suggest new programs or revisions of present Council programs that may benefit section members. The Committee helps plan section conferences and portions of the NCTE Annual Convention that will be of interest to section members.

PreK–5 site-based administrator, Las Vegas, Nevada; adjunct professor, Sierra Nevada College; professional developer, Clark County Leadership Design Team.
Formerly: NCTE Executive Committee, elementary representative‑at‑large; NCTE Committee on Resolutions, chair; K–5 teacher, Queens, New York, London, England, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Membership(s): NCTE, ILSA, ASCD. Award(s): Clark County School District Distinguished Educator.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, SNWP.

Position Statement: I believe in the power of teachers to transform the lives of their students and the community. As a member of the Elementary Section Steering Committee, I will work collaboratively across all levels “to advance access, power, agency, affiliation, and impact for all learners”.

Assistant professor, early childhood education, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Formerly: Department editor, Language Arts; Early Childhood Education Assembly; Professional Dyads for Culturally Relevant Teaching; Editorial board of AERJ, JLR.
Membership(s): LRA, AERA, RECE.
Award(s): CNV Fellow, AERA Early Career Scholar.
Publication(s): Articles in: RTE; JECL, Language Arts.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, LRA, AERA.

Position Statement: As a former classroom teacher and professional developer, I am committed to engaged scholarship that creates space for teacher leadership and children’s agency. NCTE embodies this vision and continues to be the professional organization that gifted me with dynamic collaborators and lifelong friends. My participation at NCTE across multiple groups continues to challenge me with the question: How is my work helpful/useful for children, teachers, and communities? I am honored and excited to expand the work that we do at NCTE in pursuit of this important

Educational researcher, Georgia State University; Professional Dyads and Culturally Relevant Teaching (PDCRT).
Formerly: Co‑chair, Master Class on Children’s Literature (2017); PDCRT Cohort (2015–17).
Membership(s): Early Childhood Assembly, AERA.
Award(s): Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color (2014–16), Reading Hall of Fame SYS Fellow.
Publication(s): Articles in: Language Arts, Children’s Literature in Education.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, AERA.

Position Statement: I position myself alongside teachers in order to interrogate, discuss, listen, and create pedagogical dialogues that are not only responsive to various literacy programs and policy mandates, but to the young people they are teaching and nurturing. As a member of the Elementary Steering Committee, I want to push boundaries and expand current conversations to fully acknowledge diversity as a strength and vital force for creating innovation in language arts teaching and learning.

Instructor, 3rd grade, Greenwood Laboratory School/MSU; pursuing PhD in C&I at Texas Tech University.
Formerly: teacher, gifted ed, title I math, and social studies.
Membership(s): NCTE, AERA, SERA, LAD Writing, Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks, DKG.
Award(s): Teacher-Librarian Collaboration Award.
Publications: Articles in: Library Journal.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, ISTE, Innovation Institute, Write to Learn, SERA, Ozarks Educational Research Initiative, Missouri State Librarians Association, Southwest Region Association of School Librarians.

Position Statement: NCTE has provided the opportunity to hear and learn from educators across the country regarding a variety of important issues to our students. I am wanting to expand my service to the national arena in order to advocate for students and their rights to an equitable, quality education that integrates the arts. NCTE provides educators an opportunity to combine their voices into a more powerful force, and I look forward to serving our students through the NCTE Steering Committee.

Steering Committee

(two to be elected; term to expire November 2022)

Section Committee members elect a chair who represents section concerns on the NCTE Executive Committee. Through correspondence and meetings once or twice a year, the members identify and explore issues of section concern. Often the Section Committee will suggest new programs or revisions of present Council programs that may benefit section members. The Committee helps plan section conferences and portions of the NCTE Annual Convention that will be of interest to section members.

Principal, Northern Parkway School, Uniondale, NY: Formerly: Assistant principal, Northern Parkway School; physical education teacher, Bay Shore Elementary School.
Membership(s): NCTE, Early Childhood Education Assembly, Affirmative Action Committee of ECEA.
Award(s): NCTE CEE Diversity Grant.
Publications: Engaging Teachers, Families & Children in Multiple Literacies; Courageous Leadership; Culturally Sustaining Early Literacy Teaching: New Approaches, Strategies and Practices.
Program Contributions: NCTE, ECEA, AAC, co-director of PDCRT.

Position Statement: As an elementary school principal NCTE serves as my professional home to allow me to participate as a practitioner and researcher in the field of early and intermediate literacy. As a member of NCTE elementary sections nominating committee, I would be committed to supporting NCTE to enhance the organization’s work in helping teachers, students, and their families with equitable and culturally responsive literacies pedagogies and practices.

Assistant professor, language arts & diversity, University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
Formerly: Second grade teacher, first grade reading specialist; NCTE’s Equity and Early Childhood Task Force Chair; Early Childhood Education Assembly Chair/Assistant Chair.
Membership(s): ECEA of NCTE, AERA, AERA Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Small Interest Group.
Award(s): ECEA Social Justice in Education Award; AERA Outstanding Dissertation Award.
Publication(s): The Urban Review, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Ethnography and Education.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, AERA, Penn Ethnography Conference.

Position Statement: I am concerned with language and literacy practices that silence and disregard the experiences of children because of their particular identities, i.e., racial, social class, immigrant, geographic, gender, etc. I believe NCTE should use its national platform to reconstitute harmful practices in ways that reflect more equitable teaching. As a 20-year member of NCTE who has held leadership roles within the organization, my primary goal will be to impact structural policies to better legitimize the stories and lives of marginalized children.

Associate professor of literacy education, University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
Formerly: Elementary school teacher, literacy coach, early literacy coach.
Membership(s): NCTE, ILA, ECEA.
Award(s): Excellence in Teaching Award, UNC Charlotte; Excellence in Research Award, UNC Charlotte.
Publication(s): Books: When Writers Drive theWorkshop; What’s New in Literacy Teaching; Perspectives and Provocations in Early Childhood (3rd Ed); The Literacy Coach’s Companion; articles: Talking Points; Journal of Educational Research; Literacy Research and Instruction; Voices from the Middle; The Reading Teacher; Journal of Early Childhood Literacy; Journal of Research in Childhood Education; Young Children.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, ILA, LRA.

Position Statement: NCTE has provided me guidance in the form of professional guidelines, advocacy through strong position statements, and awareness of equitable teaching practices. As a member of NCTE’s elementary section steering committee, I will strive to be an ardent advocate for teachers and students by promoting equitable teaching practices. I will also stand against systems that seek to suppress teacher and student voices.

Associate professor, University of South Carolina; co‑editor, IAFOR Journal of Education; director, Santee Wateree Writing Project.
Formerly: WLU board member and web editor; reading specialist, ESL teacher; library literacy specialist.
Membership(s): NCTE, WLU, NWP.
Award(s): Visiting professor, Osaka, Japan; National Conversations on English Learners.
Publication(s): Articles in: Language Arts, Reading Teacher, LRA Yearbook, Teaching and Teacher Education; author of Student Writing: Give it a Generous Reading.
Program Contribution(s): WLU, NCTE, LRA.

Position Statement: As our world is becoming more technologically complex and globally interconnected, elementary teachers are helping shape our future. They are preparing students to live and thrive in our rapidly changing world. The elementary section must continue to provide support to teachers through conference sessions, webinars, workshops, discussion forums, and other innovative tools. Our elementary section can contribute to positive change as a space for teachers to support one another, learn from one another, and advocate for the success of all students.

Nominating Committee

(three to be elected, term to expire August 2019)

Members of the Section Nominating Committee choose candidates for the Section Committee and the Section Nominating Committee for the following year. The person receiving the most votes serves as chair.

Assistant professor, curriculum and instruction, College of Staten Island, New York; area chair, Literacy Research Association; membership chair, NCTE Early Childhood Education Assembly.
Formerly: Student teacher/supervisor, New York City Public Schools (7 years); teaching English as a foreign language teacher (3 years); instructor, Columbia University’s Teachers College (3 years).
Membership(s): NCTE, LRA, AERA.
Award(s): AERA Division K Travel Grant Awardee (2017); NCTE/CEE Cultural Diversity Grant Awardee (2015).
Publication(s): Articles in: English Journal, Young Exceptional Children (forthcoming), Childhood Education: Innovations.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, LRA, AERA.

Position Statement: My work is grounded in a commitment to issues of equity and justice in public school settings and is shaped by my experiences as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and researcher. In my current and future NCTE service, I hope to continue to focus on learning with and from diverse in‑service teachers and improving the culturally relevant/responsive/sustaining ways that we prepare pre‑service teachers to serve today’s children from various ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, and technological backgrounds.

Third grade ICT teacher, New York, NY.
Membership(s): NCTE, NYCoRE.
Award(s): Mariana Souto-Manning Teacher Scholarship (2018); Vivian Vasquez Teacher Scholarship (2017).
Program Contribution(s): NCTE.

Position Statement: As an early career educator, my experiences at NCTE have been invaluable and shaped my first three years in the classroom. Each year of the conference I am reminded I stand on the shoulders of giants. Teachers are among the most creative, brilliant, and resilient people in the workforce. Myriad experts in literacy have pushed my thinking and guided my developing pedagogy. This community continues to support and encourage me to cultivate a classroom that prioritizes social justice curricula, students’ voices, and equitable spaces. If elected to the NCTE nominating committee, I would continue to center NCTE’s mission. This is a crucial space that works to support anti-racist, critical, inclusive educators and classrooms, and I look forward to my continued collaboration, service, and learning.

Associate professor of literacy education, Hunter College, City University of New York; director, READ East Harlem/Hunter College (a collaborative professional learning project uniting university faculty and K–2 teachers and school leaders to support teacher growth and student literacy learning).
Formerly: Classroom teacher (15 years).
Membership(s): NCTE, ILA, LRA, AERA.
Publication(s): Articles in: Language Arts, The Reading Professor, Literacy Research and Instruction; books: Learning and Teaching Literacy in the (dis) Comfort Zone: A Guide for New Teachers and Literacy Coaches.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, AERA, WLU, ILA.

Position Statement: As a teacher, coach, scholar, and reader, I turn to NCTE for its exceptional professional resources, dynamic, compassionate and responsive network of dedicated educators, and strong advocacy for equity and access in literacy education. In particular, I am committed to fostering ways to elevate and promote teachers’ voices in key conversations that impact literacy practices and policies.

Literacy coach, teacher leader, “Beloved Educator” in Service, Horrell Hill Elementary School, Hopkins, SC.
Formerly: Classroom teacher; visual arts teacher; reading teacher.
Membership(s): Professional Dyads (Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Pedagogies); National Education Association (South Carolina Education Association); NAPDC; ECEA; NCTE.
Publication(s): Chapter in Why We Teach Now (9).

Position Statement: I believe every child deserves a “Beloved Educator” who will collaborate with families to love them through the learning processes academically, socially, and emotionally. Being a part of NCTE has been a life-changing experience. Attending NCTE every year renews my passion in order to continue the mission of pursuing authentic literacy experiences for myself, colleagues, students, families and the community. These literacy experiences empower me as I am inspired to work in innovative ways that support advocacy beyond classroom walls. I still declare that teaching is the most noble profession in the universe!

Assistant professor, early childhood education, Winthrop University, South Carolina; co‑editor, Perspectives and Provocations Journal, Early Childhood Education Assembly; first vice president, Kappa Delta Gamma, Kappa Chapter, South Carolina.
Formerly: Early childhood teacher (10 years); NCTE Early Childhood Education Assembly member.
Membership(s): NCTE, ILA, AERA.
Award(s): Early Childhood Education Assembly-Professional Dyads in Culturally Relevant Teaching Cohort 1.
Publication(s): Articles in: The Urban Review, Early Years: An International Research Journal, Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, AERA, NAME.

Position Statement: I am committed to the preparation and retention of culturally responsive educators who recognize and foster the funds of knowledge that children and their families have to offer. I seek to disrupt policies and procedures that promote cultural, racial, religious, economic, or gender bias within educational institutions, materials, and assessment measures. My goal is to advance the perspectives of underrepresented populations and ensure that leaders within the organization are attentive to the voices of vulnerable groups.

Professor Emerita, early childhood education, Cleveland State University; Professional Dyads & Culturally Relevant Teaching, ECE Assembly.
Formerly: ECEA Chair; Elementary Section Steering Committee; teacher, preK–2.
Membership(s): NCTE, ECEA, AERA, NAEYC.
Award(s): Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, CSU; DVolk Pre‑Service Teacher Scholarship, ECEA.
Publication(s): “Contemporary & Critical Perspectives on ECE in the US,” Early Years; “‘Diversity as a Verb’ in Preservice Teacher Education: Creating Spaces to Challenge the Profiling of Young Children,” Contemporary Issues in EC; “Constructing Literacy Spaces in Low Income Homes & Communities: A Study of Two Latino First Graders & Their Families,” Urban Education.
Program Contribution(s): NCTE, AERA, International Conference on Urban Education.

Position Statement: NCTE has provided opportunities for collaboration, growth, challenge, and learning. As a teacher educator, PDCRT member, former ESSC member, and advocate for bilingual children’s languages and literacies, I’m committed to a vital ESSC and expanding the NCTE participation of culturally and linguistically diverse EC/Elementary educators, especially in leadership.

Important Information

NCTE, CEE, and Section election ballots will be sent by email to current members. If NCTE does not have an email for you on file and you would like to receive a ballot by email, please visit “My Account” and add it to your membership record. (You may also use “My Account” to change your email address or update your member profile.) You can contact our NCTE Customer Service Department (877-369-6283) and speak with one of our representatives to update this information as well. If NCTE does not have an email address on file by March 20, your ballot will be sent by mail.

Elections will close at 11:59 pm Central Time, Friday, June 1, 2018. Results will be posted mid-June.



If you have questions, please contact Linda Walters-Moore at NCTE Headquarters.

Current ESSC Members

Questions or comments for the Steering Committee can be emailed to elementary@ncte.org


Mission Statement

The Elementary Section Steering Committee of NCTE is committed to the pursuit of justice and equity.  We believe that in an open democratic society we cannot argue for democracy and humanity unless we create for our children a more just and caring world.  To this end we are dedicated to the support and development of emancipatory pedagogies that counter official policies and mandates that narrow the possibilities for the teaching of the language arts in public schools.  We believe that it is essential that we resist any attempt that is made to separate school based language arts programs from the socio-cultural realities of children’s everyday lives.  Our task is to support the work of teachers as they work closely with their students and their families to build classrooms where everyone has an opportunity to participate in the conversation with a renewed consciousness of worth and possibility of their own language use and the literacies that they share.

—ESSC, January 2017