SCOA Newsletter — January 2018


January 2018

NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates



The new year brings new possibilities for Millie Davis, NCTE’s Senior Developer for Affiliates and the Director of the NCTE Center for Intellectual Freedom. On February 2, Millie will retire after more than 28 years with NCTE.

At the recent Affiliate Breakfast in St. Louis, a portion of the program was devoted to a presentation honoring Millie and her service to NCTE. Current and former colleagues shared their thoughts about working with Millie, celebrating what NCTE Past President Doug Hesse describes as her “wisdom, humor, historical perspective, and general good sense” in meeting challenges and solving problems.

“Millie Davis is a teacher’s teacher, an amazing mentor to all of us who have worked with affiliates through the years,” writes SCOA Chair Jean Boreen. “Her knowledge of best practices for affiliates regarding everything from membership to governance structures to leadership development have influenced the lives of most affiliates over her stellar career.”

As she prepares for retirement, Millie has this to say about affiliates and the important role they play in our profession:

“I found my professional home in an affiliate some 35+ years ago. The Virginia Association of Teachers of English became what I referred to as my ‘plug-in.’ VATE was the place that, with others, I remembered why I taught, why I wanted to keep teaching, and how. In VATE, I shared lessons that worked out and got advice on those that didn’t. There I found opportunities to interact with others in work outside my classroom teaching: to analyze state edicts and prepare responses to them, to write, meet, and speak, to plan conferences.

“How fortunate am I to have vicariously enjoyed these very same professional pleasures and more these last 28+ years at NCTE in my work with affiliates. That affiliate work is special professional work I knew when I came, but over the years, I’ve had the exquisite pleasure of learning with you the panorama of possibilities this work entails.”

What are Millie’s post-retirement plans? “First, I’m going to just sit down,” laughed Millie when asked that question, “and then explore options for the future.”

SCOA extends best wishes to Millie as she begins this wonderful new chapter in her life.

This year, many states will be reviewing and implementing their ESSA plans. For more on your state’s plan, visit these websites:

ESSA State Plans 50-State Landscape Analysis

ESSA in the States: How Good is Your State’s Education Plan?

Stay informed! Follow @Essa_Update on Twitter and sign up for ESSA Advance to receive email updates specific to your state. More information about ESSA and individual states is available hereand here.




Every member has a voice! Click here to learn more about the Summit. Updates for 2018 will be posted soon!


Keep those responses coming! We’re continuing to gather your feedback on affiliate needs in preparation for #NCTE18 in Houston. What do you need to grow and strengthen your organization?

Survey of Affiliate Needs
A new year can be an opportunity to explore new ideas! Several affiliates have shared successful changes made in their organizations, re-thinking and redefining board roles and responsibilities.

At a board retreat, the Iowa Council of Teachers of English asked board members to reflect on two questions: Does your role on the board feed your interests, and if not, what changes would you like to see in your role?

“The results have been these amazing passion projects which have added serious value to our affiliate,” ICTE explained in its annual report. A monthly podcast, writing retreats for members, and a blog devoted to teacher writing were all inspired by the re-imagining of board roles.


Last year, the Missouri Council of Teachers of English worked to develop a new website, rebranding the affiliate and growing its presence on Facebook and Twitter. The board worked with a graphic design student to create a new logo, and responsibilities for web and social media content are now shared by several members.

“Each of our elected officers is assigned a day to post on social media, and since implementing this, there has consistently been at least one tweet and one Facebook post per day,” the Missouri affiliate shared in its annual report.

Crafting a mission statement, articulating a vision, and setting goals are valuable activities for any affiliate board. Where is your affiliate headed in 2018 and beyond?

Information on a wide variety of affiliate projects and programs, including sample constitutions and board member notebooks, is available from NCTE. Email inquiries to affsec.

Student Awards

Teachers, the following student award programs will be accepting submissions through February 15: The Achievement Awards in Writing (for high school juniors) and Promising Young Writers (for 8th graders). Here is your chance to have your students’ work acknowledged and recognized!

We are also looking for judges to review and score student writing and state coordinators to organize judging in their respective states.

Questions can be directed to aa or pyw.

How has your affiliate supported opportunities for students to be recognized for their writing?

Each year, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English spotlights student work through its Poetry and Prose Contest.

IATE shared details of the initiative in its affiliate annual report: “We do a Young Writers issue of our journal. Teachers and parents love it. Two college professors, Delores Robinson at Illinois Central College, and Robin Murray at Eastern Illinois University, coordinate the submission and judging of the contest. Then our Poet Laureate, Kevin Stein, chooses the top poetry. They all write intros for the issue.”

Proposals for the 2018 NCTE Convention in Houstonare due January 16. Encourage affiliate members to share their experience and expertise. Click here for more about submitting a proposal.
Join the conversation! The next NCTE Twitter chat is Sunday, January 21, at 8:00 PM ET. Let’s share our new ideas for the new year!
Tax Exempt forms are due January 30 for all affiliates in NCTE’s tax-exempt group. Not yet a member of the group? Go here to complete an application. Send any questions to Millie Davis.
Information about the NCTE Affiliate Awardswill be sent out in late January. Make plans now to apply on behalf of your affiliate so that your hard work can be recognized!
The Standing Committee on Affiliates sends this newsletter to leaders of NCTE affiliates. The representatives of the eight regions welcome content for and comments about previous and forthcoming issues.

Region 1: Lawrence Butti
Region 2: Margaret Ford
Region 3: Julie Rucker
Region 4: Cheryl Simonds
Region 5: L. A. Baines
Region 6: Tracy Kriese
Region 7: Jeana Hrepich
Region 8: Stacey Takanishi
Chair: Jean Boreen

The SCOA Newsletter is a member of NCTE’s Information Exchange.

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