In this message, IRA President Maureen McLaughlin and IRA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post remember their friend Maryann Manning, 2015 – 2016 President of the International Reading Association:
It is with the deepest sadness that we share with you, members of the International Reading Association community, news of the passing of our friend, fellow Board member, and 2015 – 2016 President of the International Reading Association, Maryann Manning. Maryann died on September 8, 2013 after participating in the Asian Literacy Conference in Bali, Indonesia.
Maryann loved the International Reading Association (IRA). She was a member of IRA since 1972, a committed teacher and teacher-educator, and a passionate advocate for literacy education and the teaching profession worldwide. Maryann was a soft-spoken person who had a keen wit and a boundless sense of caring.
Maryann was a member of IRA’s Board of Directors from 2006-2009 and received IRA’s special service award in 2005. A long time international volunteer for IRA, Maryann co-chaired two regional conferences and served on numerous IRA committees. She also served on the NCATE Board of Examiners and was a member of the NCATE Advisory Committee from 1985-1995.
During her career, Maryann took on many roles. She was a K-12 classroom teacher in Nebraska, an instructor at the University of Nebraska, an adjunct professor at Chugoku College, Japan, and a professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where she organized a series of wonderfully memorable summer conferences.
Maryann authored and co-authored numerous books and book chapters including: Best Reading Book Ever (Scholastic), Subskills vs. Holistic (Erlbaum), Scientific Reading Assessment (Heinemann), Theme Immersion (Heinemann), Revisiting Silent Reading (IRA) chapter, and Examining DIBELS (Heinemann) chapter. She also wrote selected journal articles for The Reading Teacher, Research in Childhood Education, and Young Children.
Maryann’s dedication to IRA knew no bounds. As she explained it, “The Association is at the cutting edge in addressing educational issues.” Her interests in coming to board service included growing professional partnerships and extending IRA’s efforts as a global community. Most of all, she treasured the many colleagues and acquaintances who she came to meet through the IRA network. She was always proud to say, “The strength of IRA is its members, and I am a longtime member.”
Maryann’s personal generosity was notable to all who knew her. She infused her volunteer work with energy, compassion, earnestness, and friendship. She also endowed the IRA Maryann Manning Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, which is given annually to dedicated members who have made a lifelong commitment to a local, state or provincial council within North America or to a local or regional council, or international affiliate outside of North America.
As we mark her passing, let us remember Maryann’s personal sense of caring, her patient example, her dedication to the cause of literacy, and her beautiful, ever-present smile.
Thank you, Maryann, for all of the gifts you gave us. IRA is the better for your having been in our midst. We love you. We will never forget you.