In schools throughout the nation, there are educators who exemplify dedication to the success of all students, including those with learning disabilities (LD) and others who struggle to learn. Working as classroom teachers, literacy coaches, principals, tutors and more, these educators do the “on the ground” work that leads to student success. Each year, NCLD is proud to honor one of these individuals with the Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award, which recognizes excellence by an educator who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to research-based instruction, and who instills in his or her students the power to hope, to learn, and to succeed.
This year’s winner, Dr. Lydia Carlis, brings that power to the youngest students. As the Chief of Research and Innovation at the AppleTree Institute in Washington, DC, Dr. Carlis is responsible for the comprehensive Every Child Ready curriculum used in AppleTree’s seven public charter preschools. AppleTree’s preschools exist to close the achievement gap for underserved children before they even begin kindergarten.
This is a mission Dr. Carlis takes to heart. She is a strong believer in the Response-to-Intervention (RTI) model and has led AppleTree in its extensive use of RTI. Under her direction, all students enrolled at AppleTree have their progress continually tracked and reviewed by staff in three-week curriculum cycles. This ensures that no child is allowed to fall through the cracks, and needed interventions are implemented promptly. With Dr. Carlis at the helm, all children have the chance to succeed.
Dr. Carlis received her award at last month’s International Dyslexia Association conference in Baltimore, MD. NCLD Board of Directors member Dr. Drake Duane presented her with the award, which comes with prizes from educational publishing companies.