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Announcing the 2018-2020 Heinemann Fellows.
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Meet the 2018-20 Heinemann Fellows

Read the Fellows Blogs  2014-16 Heinemann Fellows  2016-18 Heinemann Fellows

2018 Heinemann Fellows
The 2018–20 Heinemann Fellows
Standing: Brian J. Melton, Janelle W. Henderson, Nicole Stellon O'Donnell, Marian Dingle, Nina Sudnick, Minjung Pai.
Seated: Irene Castillón, Julie Kwon Jee, Julia E. Torres, David Rockower, Islah Tauheed.

Reflections on Heinemann Fellows and Action Research by Ellin Keene

Heinemann Fellows are a group of educators with boundless curiosity about children, teaching, and learning.

They work collegially and individually in their schools and districts:

Though action research is the primary vehicle through which Fellows work, the initiative has evolved into a professional culture of its own. After becoming part of the initiative, Fellows soon adopt a discipline of observation and reflective practice in the classroom and the community. They undertake research designed to create new ways of thinking and fresh solutions to problems of practice.

The Heinemann Fellows Initiative is about a new form of professional interaction in education. It's about true collegiality. Not congeniality—the friendly, supportive, superficial, “how are ‘ya doing today” kind, but the type of professional engagement in which they challenge each other's thinking, ask provocative questions of each other, and engage in discussions focused on their most fundamental beliefs about children, teaching, learning, and living.

Fellows seek to create original ideas for our field in a time when many of our colleagues around the country question whether they can make a lasting contribution to their students. Original thinking for the field and new ways of seeing –- for children to come.

These Heinemann Fellows are creating a unique culture and establishing relationships with each other and with the team at Heinemann. Fellows set their own direction, but in the full knowledge that their colleagues at Heinemann will puzzle through ideas with them. It's about close professional and personal relationships they'll have for a lifetime.

And, Heinemann Fellows seek to create new professional learning opportunities for colleagues around the world, like a stellar new professional book title, an article for our Professional Development Catalog/Journal, a series of blog posts, or Twitter chats.

Most importantly, Heinemann Fellows hope to inspire educators around the world to take on problems of practice, develop research questions and plans to systematically review their instruction and amend it to better meet children's needs. They share a fervent desire to stand alongside children and colleagues to create better classrooms and schools with the long-term interest of creating a more just and inclusive world.

Heinemann Fellows Chairperson: Ellin Oliver Keene

image of Ellin Keene

Ellin Oliver Keene has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, non-profit director and adjunct professor of reading and writing. For sixteen years she directed staff development initiatives at the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. She served as Deputy Director and Director of Literacy and Staff Development for the Cornerstone Project at the University of Pennsylvania for 4 years. Ellin currently serves as senior advisor at Heinemann, overseeing the Heinemann Fellows initiative and works with schools and districts throughout the country and abroad. Her emphasis is long-term, school-based professional development and strategic planning for literacy learning.

Ellin is co-editor and co-author of The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching (Heinemann, 2015); co-editor of the Not This, but That series (Heinemann, 2013 - 2015); author of Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Understanding (Heinemann, 2012), To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension (Heinemann, 2008), co-author of Comprehension Going Forward (Heinemann, 2011), Mosaic of Thought: The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction, 2nd edition (Heinemann, 2007, 1st edition, 1997) and author of Assessing Comprehension Thinking Strategies (Shell Educational Books, 2006) as well as numerous chapters for professional books and journals on the teaching of reading as well as education policy journals.

Blog Posts



Heinemann Fellows 2018-2020

Irene Castillón, San Jose, CA
Founding academic dean at Luis Valdez Academy, San Jose, CA
Follow Irene Castillón (@msbigcastle)

Marian Dingle, Peachtree Corners, Georgia
Fourth- and fifth-grade Montessori teacher at Briar Vista Elementary School, Atlanta, GA
Follow Marian Dingle (@DingleTeach)

Janelle W. Henderson, Louisville, KY
Third-grade teacher at Mill Creek Leadership Academy, Louisville, KY
Follow Janelle Henderson (@freeyourheart)

Julie Kwon Jee, Hopewell Junction, NY
English teacher at Arlington High School, LaGrangeville, NY
Follow Julie Kwon Jee (@mrsjjee)

Brian J. Melton, Palatine, IL
English, creative writing, and slam poetry teacher at Glenbard North High School, Carol Stream, IL
Follow Brian Melton (@beezymelt)

Nicole Stellon O'Donnell, Fairbanks, AK
English teacher for grades 7–12 at Golden Heart Academy, Fairbanks, AK
Follow Nicole Stellon O'Donnell (@SteamLaundry)

Minjung Pai, Los Angeles, CA
Fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Westland School
Follow Minjung Pai (@minfucious)

David Rockower, Boalsburg, PA
English teacher for grades 5–8 in the Delta Program, State College, PA
Follow David Rockower (@dgrock)

Nina Sudnick, Athens, OH
Sixth-grade math and science teacher at East Elementary School in Athens, OH
Follow Nina Sudnick (@SudnickNina)

Islah Tauheed, Bronx, NY
Second-grade teacher at PS 567 Linden Tree Elementary School, Bronx, NY
Follow Islah Tauheed (@izzieteaches)

Julia E. Torres, Thornton, CO
Language arts teacher and librarian at Denver Public Schools, Denver, CO
Follow Julia Torres (@juliaerin80)