Pam is a world renowned expert in home and school literacy connections. She is the Founding Director of LitLife, a professional development organization that specializes in reading and writing instruction.
Donalyn is a nationally recognized
speaker, blogger, and author. She is also a sixth
grade Texas language arts teacher with the ability to
turn reluctant readers into students who can’t put
down their books. Her love of books
and teaching is both infectious and
inspiring. Her newest book, Reading
in the Wild, explores whether or not
we are truly instilling lifelong reading
habits in our students and provides
practical strategies for teaching
Gordon is the author of more than 80 novels for kids and teens, most recently Jackpot and The Hypnotists. His writing career began at the age of twelve when his seventh grade English
assignment became his first published novel.
Now, years later, he is a full-time
writer and speaker, with more than
25 million copies of his novels in
print. Each year he travels extensively,
visiting schools and libraries, bringing
his trademark humor-and-adventure
style to readers everywhere.
Deborah is an author of picture books and novels for
young readers, including Each Little Bird That Sings, a National
Book Award Finalist, and Countdown, book one of the Sixties
Trilogy for Young Readers. Book two, Revolution, will be released
in April 2014.
In addition to painting vivid pictures about
conditions in the South, Deborah also documents
in her books historical facts teachers can share
with their students to incorporate nonfiction and
historical fiction texts into their daily instruction.
Deborah teaches and writes from her home in
A self-professed bibliophile, Alice Ozma’s love of books was nurtured early on by her father, whose routine of reading aloud to his daughter at bedtime led to the parent and child promising to read aloud together daily as long as they possibly could. Alice wrote her bestselling book, The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared, in her early twenties. She quickly earned many accolades for her memoir. She has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, Fox and Friends, and NPR’S Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.
Currently, Alice divides her time between working for Scholastic as the Manager of Sales Media and Reading Programs and venturing across the country to give presentations on the importance of reading. She has spoken on a variety of reading subjects at several noteworthy national conferences, including IRA, NCTE and ALA.
Alyson Beecher is a self-described “educator, book geek and literacy advocate” with 21 years of experience in education, including 6 years as Principal of San Rafael Elementary School in Pasadena, California.
Alyson believes that it is critical to partner with teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, booksellers, and publishers to support efforts to connect children and teens to books. She strives to develop a culture at her school that promotes a love of books and reading. She is passionate about helping her students understand the value of reading for learning as well as for pleasure.
Alyson shares her insights on reading and favorite children’s titles in her blog, kidlitfrenzy.com.
Anne Lee brings more than two decades of experience in publishing and independent and retail bookstore management to her role as Vice President of Program Development for Scholastic Book Fairs. Since joining Scholastic in 2000, she has led merchandising, marketing, communications, and most recently, new business development for all of the company’s school-based book fair operations in the United States.
Prior to her work at Scholastic Book Fairs, Anne was Regional Community Relations Manager for Barnes & Noble Booksellers, where she was responsible for special events and media and public relations for the Southeastern United States.
As an educator for more than 40 years, Barbara Masley has served as an elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, staff developer, and elementary principal. She received her elementary principal certification from Harvard University and was twice a finalist as Teacher of the Year.
Barbara has worked with schools across the country, presenting them with instructional techniques that promote literacy. She has always been a literacy advocate and has written many grants for schools and teachers to further literacy initiatives. She is a sought-after speaker who has presented at many state and national conferences and reading summits.
Dr. Janet Fawcett
Janet Fawcett has served the educational community for more than 20 years, including 12 as a principal and 8 as head of Highlands Elementary, situated in a diverse urban community outside of Seattle. Taking a student-centered approach, Janet works diligently with her team to support English language learners, increase the level of parental involvement and help her students read at grade level.
Reading is emphasized so strongly at Highlands Elementary that the school tallied 209,905 reading minutes in the 2012 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, making Highlands Elementary No. 1 in Washington for the second year in a row and 94th out of 4,446 schools worldwide.
She is a member of the Association of Washington School Principals, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Washington Educational Research Association.
Elizabeth Hostin has been an educator for more than 30 years and has served as a principal for 13 years in the Mansfield, Texas ISD. She currently serves as Principal of Linda Jobe Middle School. Not only does Elizabeth spend time with educators and students in the daytime, she also spends time with administrators, counselors, and teachers at Dallas Baptist University as an adjunct professor, a role she has had for the past seven years.
She is proud not only of her students’ numerous successes, but also of her teachers’ growth and willingness to do whatever it takes to help children become successful. Elizabeth believes that children should be encouraged to think and communicate their thoughts and ideas.
Dr. Gloria Navarro
Dr. Gloria Navarro served the educational community for more than 35 years as a K-12 teacher, an elementary principal, and a district administrator. As a retired educator, she currently works as an educational consultant for Scholastic Book Fairs as well as part-time faculty for multiple universities.
She has been a member of NAESP, GAESP, SSTAGE, GCASE, GAEL, and CEC and currently serves on the International Alliance for Invitational Education advisory board. She has been a presenter at local, state and national meetings, workshops, and conferences.
As Principal of J.O. Schulze Elementary in Irving, Texas, Lariza works to develop 21st-century learners in a culture where reading is “non-negotiable” and where the minimum student reading goal is 40 books a year.
Lariza believes that it is very important to create a culture of reading within the school. Every faculty meeting begins with a booktalk, and booktalks are also part of the weekly announcements. As you enter the library at Schulze, you will see pictures of teachers with their favorite books. Lariza’s students are required to take books home to read independently. Students participate in a college-inspired reading program that propels students from an “Associate’s Degree” to a “Doctorate” based upon the number of books they read in a variety of genres.
Lariza is a member of the Texas Association of Principals and Supervisors Association.
Marsha Thauwald has been in education for over 30 years. She has been an elementary teacher, elementary principal, district-level curriculum director, assistant superintendent, and Baylor University professor. She is currently an education consultant and presenter at state and national conferences and reading summits.
Marsha received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Louisiana Tech University and her Master’s Degree and Mid-Management Certificate from East Texas State University (Texas A&M University-Commerce). She is a member of the Texas Association of Elementary School Principals and the Association of Curriculum and Staff Development.
Marsha has a passion for getting students to enjoy the love of reading!
After graduating from Ithaca College with a B.S. in Education and a B.S. in Sports Medicine, Michael Weaver spent four years working in higher educational institutions as an academic counselor and coach. In 2001, he ‘reset’ his course in life and pursued work and master studies at the University of Pennsylvania to prepare for a career as an elementary teacher and administrator. In May 2010, he was appointed the principal of John A. Forrest School in Fair Lawn, NJ.
Reading is a driving force at Forrest School, where Michael’s caped alter ego, Bookman Weaver, gets students excited about reading every Book Fair season. Bookman Weaver also communicates the school’s many year-round literacy and learning initiatives with parents and students via a Facebook page. In true superhero fashion, Michael’s school focuses on superpowers – skills or characteristics used to help others.
Nancy Baumann is a nonfiction author and publisher, writing coach, public speaker, book coach and editor whose mission in life is to change the world, one reader at a time. She has been an elementary and middle school teacher and librarian, and has also worked in the University of Missouri’s School of Information Sciences and Learning Technologies. She served on the 2010 John Newbery Committee and received the School Library Journal Giant Step Award for her exemplary work as an elementary school librarian.
In her book, For the Love of Reading: Guide to K–8 Reading Promotions, Nancy provides strategies and tips for setting up successful reading environments for children, including having a well-stocked library collection; engaging students through book clubs, reading lists, and prepared book talks; and involving student and adult volunteers.
An educator for more than 20 years, Nancy Carter currently serves as the Principal of Chaffee Trail Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida. She is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Staff Developers Conference, Florida Association of School Administrators, and Duval Elementary School Principals.
Nancy focuses on “using project-based learning to engage students and stimulate creative thinking that will move students in to the next phase of learning and allow them to meet the rigorous requirements of the Common Core State Standards. Nancy outlines her No. 1 educational goal: “Creating a culture where students are comfortable taking educational risks, asking for help where needed, and teaching others.”
Dr. Richard J. Hutnik
Dr. Richard J. Hutnik's career in education spans more than three decades. He is the recipient of many educational awards, including Teacher of the Year of New Jersey and Georgia. He has authored two publications and has been awarded various educational grants. Under his leadership as principal of Sammy McClure Middle School in Georgia, the school was selected three years in a row as having the best Scholastic Reading Book Crew. He received his Doctorate Degree of Educational Leadership from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a member of many educational and professional organizations including the Scholastic Principal's Advisory Board. Dr. Hutnik believes that reading is the key to everyone's future.
Robin Hoffman has been a children’s literature specialist for over 30 years, spending the last 22 with Scholastic Book Fairs. Robin has served on the Book Selection Committee for more than 20 years, assisting with the curating of titles from all genres that are available to children, families and teachers.
Additionally, Robin is the leader of our multi-faceted Booktalk program and introduced Scholastic’s Book Podcasts in 2012. These are now featured on our Book Fairs app.
Sandi Novak served the educational community for more than 30 years as a teacher, elementary and junior high principal, curriculum director, and assistant superintendent in public schools. Since retiring from public school education, she has worked as an educational consultant for Scholastic Book Fairs as well as for individual school districts.
She has been a member of Minnesota's Best Practice Network of Teachers of Science for Minnesota Department of Education; on the Marketing Committee of National Staff Development Council; and currently serves as board member and treasurer of the MN Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Additionally, she has been a presenter at local, state and national meetings, workshops, and conferences.
Viewing reading as elemental to academic and life success, Stephanie Brant made national news by eliminating worksheets as homework and instead requiring her students to read 30 minutes each evening. Stephanie – an educator for 14 years and a principal for four – engages families to ensure student success in her impoverished community, which consists largely of immigrants. Her school holds community workshops in the evenings to provide families with the vocabulary and background knowledge they need to support their children at home. Twice each week over the summer, Stephanie delivers donated books throughout her community to promote reading practice.
She is a member of the Association of Staff Development, Montgomery County Maryland Association of Administrators and Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Stephanie Colwell joined Life School in 2005. During her eight-year tenure, she has taught elementary, middle and high school, and has also served as Assistant Principal for the Lancaster campus. Stephanie received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University.
Stephanie believes the mission of Life School is to train leaders with life skills for the twenty-first century by establishing strong academics, character training, and parenting programs. Students cannot achieve strong academics without first having a strong foundation in literacy. Literacy is our greatest weapon in the ongoing struggle between success and failure.
Steve Black has been a Scholastic Book Fairs Consultant for 23 years. During this time, he has fully concentrated on bringing elementary and middle school literature to life through teacher, student and parent presentations. Steve is a member of Scholastic’s Book Selection Committee, helping to choose the “right-fit” books for students. He has been instrumental in developing a formal teacher preview for Scholastic Book Fair customers.
John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) is a teacher-librarian at Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, Illinois for 10 years. John graduated from St. Xavier University with a Masters in Teaching and Leadership and from Dominican University with a Masters in Library and Information Science.
John has served on ALSC’s Children and Technology committee, AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, and two Readers’ Choice award committees. John was a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and served on the 2014 Newbery committee.