Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsberg met while serving on the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award committee. They were reading and discussing hundreds of books, and they quickly became fast friends. Both were diehard attendees of the NCTE convention and ALAN workshop and loved presenting at conferences and learning from other educators. Their passion is to make engaging books accessible for teachers. One day, Kellee called Ricki and asked her if she wanted to be blog partners. She said she wanted to create a blog for educators and Kellee’s experience as a middle school teacher might complement well Ricki’s experience as a high school teacher. And that is how Unleashing Readers was born.
Kellee Moye began teaching middle school in Orlando, FL in 2006; first as a sixth grade language arts teacher, then as a seventh grade language arts teacher, then as an intensive reading teacher for grades sixth through eighth as well as a developmental language arts class for new ELL students, and now she is the reading coach at her middle school in addition to teaching journalism and advanced reading. Although she loves teaching in general, she has found a specific love for teaching reading. She enjoys working with all levels of readers. She enjoys helping those who may struggle or not yet found their love of reading because it is so rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable to transform these students’ views of reading, school, and learning. And working with high achievers by enriching their reading experience is equally gratifying and enjoyable!
She feels that the biggest key to helping these students is community which includes class discussions, student-centered learning, data-driven teaching, and, most importantly, helping each student find the specific books they’ll love and time to read these books (with the help of her 3,400 title classroom library). As reading coach, she enjoys coaching other teachers to help them reach all readers with great literacy instruction. Kellee also teaches the journalism class that creates the yearbook, advises Future Problem Solvers for gifted/high-achieving students, is the department head of her reading department, and a member of her school’s professional leadership team. Her school is a 1:1 digital school.
Outside of her classroom, Kellee’s passion remains education and reading. She currently serves on the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE) Board of Directors for the 2016-2018 term. She attends the National Council of Teachers of English convention followed by the ALAN Workshop yearly, and it is through these national conventions, national organization memberships and through Twitter that she has built her professional repertoire which includes recent activities such as presenting at NCTE 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016; reviewing for The ALAN Review; and being a member of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award committee from 2011-2015 (where Ricki and Kellee met). In 2014, Kellee was the chair of the Walden award committee, and in 2015 she was the advising past-chair of the committee.
Kellee is a homebody who loves to spend time with her son, Trent (born February 2014) and husband, Jim. She also loves reading (obviously!), watching TV, her cats, talking to her family on the phone (they are all too far away!), hanging out with friends, and going to Disney!
Ricki Ginsberg taught high school English for six years in Vernon, Connecticut. There, she proposed, designed, and implemented two courses, Young Adult Literature I and II. Her mission was to help students learn about young adult literature in a warm, welcoming setting. Hundreds of students signed up for the course, and they devoured and discussed thousands of books. She is a strong advocate of allowing students choice in their reading materials to allow them to take ownership of their reading lives.
Every year, Ricki participates in a lot of great conferences including AERA’s annual conference and NCTE’s annual convention. She particularly loves NCTE’s ALAN Workshop (www.alan-ya.org). This conference is for educators, librarians, authors, and publishers who are interested in working to increase awareness of the power of young adult literature. Ricki has served as a member of the ALAN Board, as an ALAN consultant, and as a member of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee (three years as a member, one year as chair, and one year as past-chair). Ricki serves on the Editorial Team of The ALAN Review, a scholarly journal dedicated to young adult literature.
Ricki recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. Her dissertation is titled: “’What Right Do You Have To Teach This To Us?’: White Teachers Negotiate Dilemmas Of Multicultural Young Adult Literature In Urban Classrooms.”
She feels fortunate to have been hired as Assistant Professor of English Education at Colorado State University. Her research interests rest in young adult literature, multicultural literature and education, urban schools, equity and inequality in education, and Native American education. She advocates for a stronger integration of relevant texts in classrooms.
Ricki is the proud mom of two wonderful boys who are avid readers.
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