In February 2009, IRA Bylaws were amended to include the formation of a new advisory group to the Association. The Teacher Advisory Panel consists of twelve classroom teachers appointed by the Board of Directors. Teachers are nominated by state reading associations, provincial reading associations, and by national affiliates. Nine teachers shall represent various regions of the United States and one teacher shall represent Canada. Two classroom teachers shall represent areas outside the United States and Canada.
The Teacher Advisory Panel is an advisory body of IRA. It has the opportunity to present issues of concern to the Board and to respond to issues brought forth by the Board.
Qualifications/Specific Guidelines for Selection
A teacher shall be defined as a regular classroom teacher who spends 100% of his/her time in Pre-kindergarten -12th grade classrooms or a site-based teacher such as reading specialist, teacher librarian, literacy coach, or reading recovery teacher.
Teacher Advisory Panel Candidates must:
- Have been a classroom teacher for a minimum of 3 years.
- Have been an IRA member for a minimum of 3 years.
- Be a member of and be active in a local, state, or provincial council or in an international affiliate and have a recommendation from that council or affiliate.
- Demonstrate a strong commitment to literacy improvement as evidenced by involvement at a school, community, state, national, or international level.
- Be knowledgeable about classroom literacy issues and have shown classroom teacher leadership.
Serving until another member from Canada is appointed:
Serving Terms from Convention 2010–Convention 2013:
Effort, Pennsylvania (East Region)
Batesville, Arkansas (Southwest Region)
Denver, Colorado (Rocky Mountain Region)
Kathy Simmons O’Neal
Oak Grove, Louisiana (Southeast Region)
Serving Terms from Convention 2011–Convention 2014:
Margaret Wanjiku Muthiga
Njoro, Nakuru (International)
Suzanne M. Nakashima
Yuba City, California (West Region)
Serving Terms from Convention 2012–Convention 2015:
Mary Lou Benesch
Dodge, NE (Plains Region)
Madisonville, LA (Southeast Region)
Oak Lawn, IL (US At-Large)
Cashton, WI (Great Lakes Region)
Maura Rose McMahon