American Reading Company is honored to have won the trust of this group of renowned educators whose life work is dedicated to ensuring all children have the support needed to achieve at the highest levels of college and career readiness. Through their diverse accomplishments and reputations, the academic advisors will work with our team and our district partners to ensure that the American Reading Company programs continue to effectively address the needs of students at every level of learning in achieving academic success and college and career readiness.
We are so thrilled to announce that Dr. Kylene Beers, Robert Probst, and Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm have agreed to join American Reading Company’s Academic Advisory Board.
Kylene and Bob’s years of experience helping teachers improve the literacy lives of students has informed their collaboration on the creation of American Reading Company’s newest Hook Book Libraries, which offer the best 50 or 100 titles for each grade (5–8) across a wide range of reading levels. These collections are carefully curated to include the types of books every teacher needs as part of a classroom library to nurture the reading development of students in his/her specific grade.
If you are involved in education, you know Jeff’s work on teaching as transformation. You have probably read Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys and You Gotta BE the Book. His books on writing are central to ARC’s curriculum writing. Dr. Wilhelm is a keynote speaker all over the country, is a professor of English at Boise State, still teaches a class of middle school kids, has written many excellent books, and is one of our personal heroes.
Award-winning educator Dr. Kylene Beers is the author of When Kids Can’t Read/What Teachers Can Do; Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading; Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise Into Practice; and Elements of Literature, the literature textbook read by the majority of middle school and high school students across the U.S. Since beginning her teaching career in 1979, she has become an internationally known and respected authority in literacy education. Kylene works tirelessly to help parents, teachers, and national policymakers understand how to best help struggling readers.
In 2008-2009, she served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English and in 2011 she received an NCTE Leadership Award. She has served as a consultant to the National Governor’s Association Education Committee, was the editor of the national literacy journal Voices From the Middle, taught in the College of Education at the University of Houston, held a reading research position in the Comer School Development Program at Yale University School of Medicine, and has most recently served as the Senior Reading Advisor to the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Robert (Bob) Probst is the author of Response and Analysis; coeditor (with Kylene Beers and Linda Rief) of Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise Into Practice; and coauthor (with Beers) of Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading.
Bob began his teaching career as a high school English teacher and then became a supervisor of English for a large district in Maryland. He spent most of his academic career at Georgia State University, where he is now Professor Emeritus of English Education. After retiring from Georgia State University, he served as a research fellow for Florida International University. He now consults with Kylene Beers in school districts across the United States.
Bob has served as a member on the Conference on English Board of Directors, as a National Council of Teachers of English journal columnist, and as a member of the NCTE Commission on Reading. He speaks nationally and internationally to administrators and teachers on literacy issues, particularly issues surrounding struggling readers and meeting standards, including the Common Core State Standards.
Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm is an internationally known teacher, author, and presenter. A classroom teacher for 15 years, Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm is currently Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He has been a professor for the past 16 years, achieving the rank of full professor in 2008. He works in local schools as part of a Virtual Professional Development Site Network sponsored by the Boise State Writing Project, and regularly teaches middle and high school students. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project.
He has authored or co-authored 31 texts about literacy teaching and learning. He has won the two top research awards in English Education: the NCTE Promising Research Award for You Gotta BE the Book (TC Press) and the Russell Award for Distinguished Research for Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys. He has worked on numerous materials and software programs for students, including Scholastic’s e21 and ReadAbout, and has edited a series of 100 books for reluctant readers entitled The Ten. Jeff enjoys speaking, presenting, and working with students and schools. He is currently researching how students read and engage with non-traditional texts like video game narratives, manga, horror, fantasy, etc., as well as the effects of inquiry teaching on teachers, students, and learning.
Jeff grew up on a small strawberry farm in Northeastern Ohio. He loved the Hardy Boys as a boy and has continued to love reading ever since, progressing through Hermann Hesse, John Steinbeck, and James Baldwin as literary mentors. In high school he was named a Harrier All-American for cross country and track. He was then a two-time Small College All-American in cross country. He has competed internationally in cross country, track, and nordic skiing. He now enjoys marathon nordic skiing and whitewater kayaking and is ready to complete his 20th Birkebeiner ski marathon and the Worldloppet marathon series!
Dr. Alma Flor Ada is Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, where she has been a Distinguished Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies in Multicultural Education. She has devoted her life to promoting a pedagogy oriented to personal realization and social justice, a mission now carried on by her former students in their own positions as teacher educators. The founder and first editor-in-chief of NABE, the journal of the National Association of Bilingual Education, Dr. Ada has long been a visionary in the field of bilingual/dual language education. A former Radcliffe Scholar at Harvard University and Fulbright Research Scholar, she is an internationally renowned speaker.
With a Ph.D. in literature and a lifelong love of stories, Alma Flor Ada is the author of more than 200 children’s books of poetry, narrative, plays, and nonfiction. Her books have received many prestigious awards, including the Christopher Medal, the Pura Belpré Medal, and the NCSS-CBC Notable Book Award. In 2012, she received the very prestigious Virginia Hamilton Award. Dr. Ada’s A Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom is one of her many pedagogical publications. She has received numerous recognitions for her contributions to education, including the American Education Research Association (AERA) Hispanic Issues Award for Research in Elementary, Secondary, and Postsecondary Education, 2008; the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008; the California Council for Higher Education 2011 Award; and the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education Literary Award, 2012.
Dr. Dick Allington is Professor of Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee and Past-President of the International Reading Association and the Literacy Research Association. He received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from IRA and the William S. Gray Citation of Merit for his contributions to the profession. He has been twice co-recipient of the Albert J. Harris Award in recognition of research contributing to the understanding of reading and learning disabilities, and has been named to the Reading Hall of Fame. Dick has been principal investigator on a number of research projects funded by the U.S. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation, and the National Institutes of Health.
Dick currently serves on several editorial boards including Reading Research Quarterly, the Journal of Educational Psychology, Remedial and Special Education, and the Journal of Disabilities Policy. He is author of several books, including What Really Matters for Struggling Readers (PearsonAllynBacon), the Handbook of Reading Disabilities Research (Routledge) co-edited with Anne McGill-Franzen and most recently, Summer Reading: Closing the rich/poor reading achievement gap (Teachers College Press).
F. Isabel Campoy has authored numerous children’s books of poetry, theater, stories, biographies, and art. As a researcher she has published extensively, bringing to the curriculum an awareness of the richness of the Hispanic culture. She is an educator specializing in the area of literacy and home/school interaction, topics on which she lectures nationally. An internationally recognized scholar, she is devoted to the study of language acquisition, a field in which she started publishing in 1973 after obtaining her degree in English Philology from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, and doing postgraduate work at Reading University in England and at UCLA in the United States. Her work in collaboration with Alma Flor Ada in promoting authorship in students, teachers, and parents is the topic of their book Authors in the Classroom: A Transformative Education Process. Campoy is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Junior Guild Award, ALA Notable Book Award, San Francisco Library Award, and the 2005 Reading the World Award from the University of San Francisco.
Prior to joining the faculty at University of Tennessee, Dr. Anne McGill-Franzen was a Professor of Literacy at the University of Florida. She earned her Ph.D. at the University at Albany–SUNY, where she was a professor in the Reading Department and associate dean of the Graduate School of Education. Dr. McGill-Franzen’s research with low-achieving children has been published in many journals, including The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Reading Research Quarterly, Educational Researcher, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, Elementary School Journal, and Journal of Educational Research. In addition, she has been the recipient of many International Reading Association awards and has authored a number of books, including Kindergarten Literacy: Matching Assessment and Instruction in Kindergarten (Scholastic). Before earning her Ph.D., Dr. McGill-Franzen was a classroom teacher, Title 1 remedial reading teacher, and special education consultant teacher. She has been a partner in many district-university collaborations and evaluations as well as in community-based efforts to improve reading achievement. The focus of her professional work has been struggling readers—including policy that supports or constrains teachers’ efforts to support children who are at risk.
Dr. Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. An urban sociologist, his research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. He holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, as well as in the Department of Sociology at New York University. Dr. Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees.
Dr. Noguera has published more than 150 research articles, monographs, and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, youth violence, conditions that promote student achievement, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society. In addition, he has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently, Invisible No More: Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys (coauthored with Aida Hurtado and Edward Fergus) and Closing the Achievement Gap: From Research to Practice (co-authored with A. Wade Boykin).
Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.
Dr. Angela Peters is Executive Director of The Peters Group Foundation and Vice Provost at Claflin University. She earned her BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of South Carolina and certificate from Harvard University Management Development Program. Dr. Peters’ most recent awards include the 2010 Stanley C. Israel Diversity Award for the Southeastern Region of the American Chemical Society; the 2005 SC Governors Professor of the Year Award (first African-American female from a four-year institution); 2004 National Millennium Award for Excellence in Teaching, sponsored by the White House Initiative; and 2004 James E. Hunter Award in Teaching Excellence at Claflin University. She has published in numerous scholarly journals and magazines and has presented laboratory papers at more than 100 research conferences.
Dr. Peters has also mentored young girls (elementary through high school) through The Ladies' Club, which she founded with her husband, Stephen Peters. Through the Girls Emulating Maturity, Strength, and Scholarship program, she has an academic year and summer program for 60 elementary and middle school girls in South Carolina. For the past 8 years, Peters has also directed AstroCHEM (funded by NASA) for more than 120 middle and high school boys and girls.
Over the course of his 32 years in education, Dr. Stephen Peters has been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director of secondary education. Most of his experiences have been in schools that made significant growth in short periods of time, resulting in both National and State Blue Ribbon distinction. Peters is founder of the nationally recognized Gentlemen’s & Ladies’ Club programs, which provide options for thousands of at-risk and honors students throughout the United States. Peters is currently CEO & President of The Peters Group, a national education consulting company. The Peters Group has a track record of creating and sustaining success in schools and districts by supporting educators through a three-step process of teaching and learning.
Peters' latest book, Choosing to Believe: Creating a Framework for School Success (Peters Group Foundation), is a USA Best Books 2010 award winner in the K-12 category. This educational tool provides a comprehensive framework for school improvement. Peters is also author of the best-selling Do You Know Enough About Me to Teach Me? (Peters Group Foundation) and Teaching to Capture and Inspire All Learners (Corwin Press). Both books are used throughout the United States as effective tools for changing and sustaining school culture. Peters has served on panels as an education expert with former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige in Washington, D.C. His mentoring and self-empowerment program The Gentlemen’s Club has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Stephen Peters is one of the most sought-after speakers in the United States.
Dr. Irvin Scott serves as Deputy Director for effective teaching in the educational division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, Dr. Scott was Chief Academic Officer of Boston Public Schools, where he earned a national reputation for his leadership in significantly improving student outcomes in Boston, especially among low-income students and students of color. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Scott reduced Boston Public School’s dropout rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest in more than two decades. As Chief Academic Officer, he oversaw 135 schools in the district, which enrolls 56,000 students, 74 percent of whom are living in poverty. Under Dr. Scott’s leadership, many more students have had access to rigorous courses, and the district has seen a sharp increase in retention and achievement in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Dual Enrollment programs.
Dr. Scott’s foundation work focuses on transforming how teachers are recruited, developed, retained, and rewarded. He also leads a portfolio of work focused on supporting teachers and ensuring that their voices inform the education reform dialogue. Research has shown that effective teachers are the single most important factor in a student’s success.
Dr. Scott is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, for both his MA in Policy and Management and his Ed.D. in the Urban Superintendents Program.
Ron Walker, the founding Executive Director of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), is also the former Associate Director of ATLAS Communities, a comprehensive school reform organization working with more than 100 schools across the country in urban, suburban, and rural school districts. Mr. Walker shared responsibility with the director for leadership and management of ATLAS activities and staff. He managed the delivery of services to selected districts and worked in tandem with the director of outreach, marketing, and related fund-raising and development efforts. He identified and negotiated strategic alliances that strengthened ATLAS’ organizational capacity and had primary responsibility for the development and management of the annual Principals Institute and related leadership activities. Prior to Atlas, Ron was a principal in Cambridge, Massachusetts, public schools for nine years; a vice principal in Belmont, Massachusetts, public schools for four years; and a middle school teacher in Philadelphia public schools for ten years.
Mr. Walker is the recipient of the Black Educators Award for Professional Service in Education (1995) and the Liberating Vision Award presented by the National Council of Negro Women (1997). He was the recipient of a $60,000 grant from the Mott Foundation to reconnect African American communities and their schools in Boston, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Baltimore. Mr. Walker was the recipient of a Harvard University Gates Fellowship for senior-level education change coaches and served as a coach with the Change Leadership Group. He continues to coach principals through Boston College’s Lynch Leadership Program and as a consultant to schools and districts on equity and culturally responsive school management. Mr. Walker was also nominated for the Manifest Award by Ebony magazine and the Open Society Foundation. This award is designated for individuals making a positive difference in the education of African American male students. He serves on numerous boards that address community-based and education issues, and he brings 45 years of educational experience, passion for the affirmative development of all students―especially male students of color―along with his calm judgment and inspirational vision to his leadership of COSEBOC.