Laurie A. Sharp Laurie Sharp is currently the Dr. John G. O'Brien Distinguished Chair in Education in the College of Education and Social Sciences at West Texas A&M University. Prior to being in higher education, Laurie taught in public schools in Florida and Texas. Laurie is an active member in numerous professional organizations and special interest groups, including the International Literacy Association, Specialized Literacy Professionals, Texas Association for Literacy Education, Professors of Literacy and Teacher Education, and Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers. Laurie has received several honors for teaching and maintains an active scholarly agenda where she publishes and presents through numerous local, regional, state, and national venues on topics related to education and literacy.
Brad Womack lives in Amarillo, Texas where he just completed his twentieth year in education. Currently, he works with several different student groups at Palo Duro High School. He teaches ESL Reading I, Sheltered English III, and serves as the ESL Department Chair. He also teaches night classes at his school’s FLEX program which includes English I,II, III, and IV as well as Speech and other electives. In prior years, he has taught kindergarten, first grade, Reading Recovery, fourth grade, and ESL intervention. Brad is a Silver level Abydos writing trainer for his district and has also conducted writing institutes and ESL strategy workshops across the state. In addition, he presents professional development sessions for his district’s campuses and collaborates with teachers throughout the year. This spring at the Abydos Conference he received the Sue German Award, which is the highest award given. Also, Brad has been named his campus teacher of the year twice, as well as a finalist for Elementary Teacher of the Year for Amarillo ISD. He loves building relationships with his students from all over the world and learning about their cultures. Brad and his wife Suzy (who is also a teacher) have two grown children, Garrett and Hillary, and two fur babies, Teddy and Okie.
Malene Golding is the Elementary Reading Curriculum Manager in Houston ISD, the seventh largest district in the nation serving over 215,000 students. She manages a diverse team of curriculum specialists who write unit planning guides, create formative and summative assessments, produce various instructional resources and provide professional development for English language arts, Spanish language arts, English as a second language, and special education teachers and students in her district. She has been a professional educator for almost twenty years in the state of Texas, teaching, coaching and managing reading and writing teachers, administrators and specialists along the way. This experience is anchored by a Texas Educator Certification in the following areas: Master Reading Teacher (EC-12), Reading Specialist (EC-12), English as a Second Language Supplemental (EC-12), Elementary Early Childhood (PK-6), Elementary Self-Contained and Elementary English. These certifications are coupled with a Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Education in Reading and Language Arts Curriculum from the University of Houston. She is the sole proprietor of an independent education consulting business which has provided critical professional development in reading and writing instruction for universities, regional centers, districts and campuses alike. Simplifying reading and writing instruction for teachers and students is one of her passions. She is convinced that it is essential to create informational learning opportunities that are purposeful, but also engaging and fun.
Executive Secretary 2016-2018
Micheal Kessner is currently an Instructional Specialist at McDonald Middle School in Mesquite. She began her career in education while still in high school, working in Informal Science through the Education Department at The Science Place (now Perot Museum) in Dallas. Over the last 19 years, she has taught 3rd through 6th grades in Garland and Mesquite ISDs, has been the K-5 Elementary Science Specialist for Lovejoy ISD, has been an Instructional Specialist, working with 7th & 8th grade students and teachers, in Mesquite ISD, has written curriculum for various grade levels and contents, has led campus Professional Development, and has presented at the campus, state, national, and international levels. She received Apple Corps in Mesquite ISD, received Recognition of Merit in the 2008-2009 Phi Delta Kappa International Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, was named an Outstanding Young Texan by the Texas Jaycees, and has earned numerous awards as a Girl Scout volunteer. She is a member of many associations, and has been a part of the TALE Membership committee for the last two years.
Codi Fowler-Freeman, M.Ed., is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She also provides literacy staff development and curriculum development trainings to several districts across the state, additionally working one-on-one with teachers to improve instruction for student success. Over the past twenty years, Codi has been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, district literacy specialist, and coordinator of English language arts. She was recently awarded the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Graduate Student Research from the Southwest Educational Research Association. Codi is pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership and curriculum from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Past President 2016-2017
Robin D. Johnson has been in education for over 20 years. She taught 1st grade in Dallas ISD, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades in Mesquite ISD, and was the Elementary Curriculum Coordinator in the areas of Literacy and Social Studies for Lovejoy ISD. After earning her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University – Commerce, she answered a call to work with pre-service teachers at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, where she teaches early childhood courses and undergraduate students in their field-based semester. At TAMUCC, she is the School-University Partnerships Coordinator, a faculty adviser for the Student Reading Council, and Program Director for Barrio Writers. She is a Diamond level Abydos literacy facilitator and the author of Time to Write. She also enjoys consulting in districts across the state.
Past Treasurer 2014-2017
Sandra Murillo-Sutterby is the Director for the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. Dr. Murillo-Sutterby began her career as a bilingual educator, teaching in various cities around Texas and Spain. A veteran educator with thirty-one years of teaching experience, she has taught grades first to fifth and higher education. In addition to directing the Tomás Rivera Book Award, she also teaches courses in literacy, bilingual education, and teacher preparation. Her research interests include children’s and young adult literature, Latino studies in literacy, and particularly the reading/writing process