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New York State Reading Association 2022-2023 Award Recipients

Richard L. Allington Research Grant Winners: Karis Jones, Rochester Area Literacy Council and Alex Corbitt, NYSRA At-Large Member

Karis Jones, Ph.D. (@Karis_M_Jones) is an educator, literacy consultant, public humanities scholar, and community activist, as well as Assistant Professor of English Language Arts at Empire State University – SUNY. She taught middle and high school in Brooklyn, NY and has been involved with NYSRA since 2018 through the student research posters. She studies issues of equity in literacies learning and writing across disciplinary, fandom, and gaming spaces.

Alex Corbitt, Ph.D. (@Alex_Corbitt) taught middle school English in the Bronx, New York. He is now an assistant professor of literacy at SUNY Cortland. His research focuses on critical literacies, gaming, and speculative fiction.

  Kathleen A. Hinchman Educator of the Year Winner: Liesa Ehrlich, Rochester Area Literacy Council

Liesa Ehrlich received her Masters in Education and Reading from St. John Fisher University. She has been an educator at Pittsford Central School District for 20 years. Liesa has served as a middle school reading specialist, a literacy coach, the secondary reading standards leader, and she has been the facilitator for both Pittsford middle school instructional support teams. In addition, Liesa has served on a number of building and district level committees.

Liesa believes that all children have a right to learn to read and write. Developing a love of reading is important, and we should honor the literacy skills with which our students come. At the same time, the continued development of varied (e.g., foundational, disciplinary, critical, digital) literacy skills empowers students. Strong literacy skills open the door to creative and critical thinking, facilitating in students a deeper understanding of themselves, others, and the world at large. Liesa is passionate about continuous learning and collaborating with students and colleagues to develop an evolving, shared understanding of best practice literacy instruction across varied contexts in order to best serve our children.

Liesa is grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many different colleagues and students. There is nothing more inspiring than having the opportunity to touch the lives of children through literacy.

Council Service Award Winner: Krista Senatore, Adirondack Literacy Council

Krista Senatore is a literacy consultant, fifth grade teacher and past president of the Adirondack Literacy Council. During her 22 year teaching career, she has served as a literacy coach and specialist and as a classroom teacher in both urban and rural settings. She is a guest speaker at Skidmore College and co-investigator in research on authentic literacy practices in her classroom. Literacy is her passion. Krista is devoted to helping her students identify and grow as readers and writers. She is on a mission to empower the teachers she works alongside to harness their expertise and passion to nurture students.

Council Service Award Winner:
Kristen Bush, Greater Thousand Islands Literacy Council

Kristen Bush has been with the Greater Thousand Islands Literacy Council since she began teaching. She enjoys assisting her president with the many events her council plans throughout the years. Her favorite event is their annual writing contest for grades K-12.

In her 16 years as an educator with the Carthage Central School District, she has had the privilege of working in a variety of settings that have brought her great joy. From her time in elementary as a 4th grade teacher to her middle school years as an English teacher in 6th grade, she has loved forming relationships with the children. Reading and writing are Kristen's passions and she loves to teach. This year she took a leap of faith and moved out of the classroom into the small group reading setting for grades 5-7. She is excited to have small groups and help students who struggle with their reading. Kristen has always believed in the potential of children. They really rise to the expectations set when you form those crucial relationships with them. Wrap it all up with accountability, constructive feedback, and lots of love and they will soar.

  Council Service Award Winner:
Clara Kaplan, Westchester Reading Council

Clara Kaplan, an immigrant from Chile, South America, is a retired educator from New York City Department of Education. After graduating with a BA and a MA in Reading Education from Brooklyn College, she worked in various schools during her 26 years in education. During her career she worked in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Bronx, and Westchester County. She had been a member of the Westchester Reading Council since 2005. Throughout the years she enjoyed her work as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the Westchester Reading Council.

With a passion for learning and developing teaching skills, she

mostly enjoyed the camaraderie and friendships she’s gained in the many years working with the Council. She feels that her work on the Council couldn’t be done without the help and dedication of her colleagues and friends! She is now enjoying life with her husband, three adult children and three wonderful grandchildren.

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