President - Dr. Janet Bavonese
Dr. Janet Bavonese currently serves at Jacksonville State University as Assistant Vice Provost for Advising. Janet holds a BA in Human Resources, an MS in English Language Learners, an MS in Reading Specialist, and an Ed.D. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading. Dr. Bavonese earned her Ed.D. from the University of Alabama, her dissertation focused on teacher education through an integrated multi-literacies curriculum. Dr. Bavonese has significant experience in reading and active literacy, both in the P-12 school environment and teacher preparation. She served more than two decades in public and private schools as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, writing facilitator, and curriculum coordinator; she has been at Jacksonville State University since 2011.
President- elect/ 2022 Conference Chair - Wes Gordon
Wes Gordon is a reader. In 1st grade, his parents selected his first Scholastic Book Fair book—Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. Now, he chooses his own books. Appropriate books. When he is not reading, he works with his local council, the Plains Literacy Council in East Alabama. He is a Past President of his local council and writes their monthly newsletters, Plain Talk. In his day job, he serves the teachers, students and families of Auburn City Schools as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum. In that role, he gets to select books for students and teachers. He has never recommended Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. Not even one time.
Treasurer - Dr. Christie Calhoun
Dr. Christie Calhoun is the Interim Department Head of Curriculum and Instruction and an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Program at Jacksonville State University. Her teaching focus is on Language Arts and Writing in the Early Childhood/Elementary classroom. From JSU, she earned a Bachelor's of Science in Education in 2004, a Master's in Education in 2006, and an Educational Specialist in Elementary Education in 2013. She earned a Doctorate of Education in Elementary Education from The University of Alabama in 2018. In 2020, she completed certification in Instructional Leadership from Jacksonville State University. She has taught Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, and 6th Grade in Northeast Alabama school systems. This past year, Dr. Calhoun completed LETRS training for Elementary Education units and became part of the first cohort of LETRS facilitators in the state of Alabama. She has also recently obtained Level 1 and Level 2 Google Educator Certification. Dr. Calhoun enjoys reading, writing, and cooking. She lives with her husband and two children in Alexandria, Alabama.
Assistant Treasurer - Meredith Crosson
Meredith Crosson is a Student Success Coach at Jacksonville State University. She is also an adjunct instructor in the School of Education. She completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Jacksonville State University earning a B.S. in Elementary Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a M.S in Reading Specialist. Her background includes 15 years of experience in classroom teaching, working as a parent educator advocating for early childhood services, and working within a facility to achieve accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Council on Accreditation (COA). Meredith has presented at local, state, and regional conferences on topics to include literacy, child development, and technology. Her educational interests include literacy, dyslexia, using technology in the classroom, and parental involvement in education. This past year, Meredith completed LETRS training for Elementary Education. She currently serves as the Assistant Treasurer and as the Social Media Committee Chair for the ALA.
State Coordinator - Dr. Lorie Johnson
Dr. Lorie Johnson is the Director of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation for the University of North Alabama's College of Education and Human Sciences. She holds a Ph.D in Reading Education from Auburn University along with a master's degree in Reading Education, a TESOL/ESOL certificate and bachelor's degrees in Early Childhood Education and Corporate Journalism. She is a certified reading specialist. Dr. Johnson has served as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, instructional coach and assistant professor. Her research includes vocabulary acquisition, irregular word reading, diverse literature in the trauma-informed classroom and employer and completer satisfaction of educator preparation. She is a President Emerita of the Alabama Literacy Association and former president of Plains Reading Council, Birmingham Area Reading Council and Northwest Alabama Reading Council.
Membership Director - Dr. Elizabeth Pruitt
Dr. Elizabeth Pruett is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Athens State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Early Childhood studies from the University of Alabama Birmingham. Dr. Pruett served as a kindergarten teacher for several years, as well as a Kindergarten Instructional Coach and a Reading Interventionist for the Primary Grades. Her expertise lies in the field of Developmentally Appropriate instructional strategies and emergency literacy. She founded and presently serves as the Faculty Advisor to the student-organization the Athens State Literacy Association.
District Director - Dr. Mary Michael Campbell