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Witte honored by National Council of Teachers of English

Friday, November 11, 2022

Media Contact: Kirsi McDowell | Senior Communications Specialist | 405-744-9347 | kirsi@okstate.edu

Dr. Shelbie Witte — who serves as senior director of teacher education and head of the School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences at Oklahoma State University — has been selected as a recipient of the 2022 Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Level Educator, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Dr. Shelbie WitteNCTE represents 30,000 teachers of English and language arts at all levels of education. The award, which has been presented annually since 1996, honors an outstanding educator for encouraging a spirit of inquiry and development of critical and creative thinking within the profession. NCTE Halle Award winners, ranging from middle-level educators to university-level teacher educators, have demonstrated exemplary professional development and innovations in connecting middle-level students, teachers and classrooms with the community.

Witte said she is surprised and honored to be chosen as an award recipient.

“So many people I respect and emulate in my own career have been named Halle Award winners, so to receive it personally is surreal. I’ve dedicated my career to middle-level kids and educators, and continue to do so through my work at Oklahoma State University,” she said. “Middle-level students are tremendously curious and complex, and have a unique set of needs separate from elementary and high school. Their passion for life and learning keeps me connected and engaged as a teacher and researcher.”

After starting her career teaching middle and high school in Oklahoma, Witte taught military-connected students at Fort Riley Middle School, earning National Board Certification in 2006 and selected as finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year in 2008. Witte held a tenured faculty position at Florida State University before coming to OSU as the Chuck and Kim Watson Endowed Chair in Education in 2015.

“Working with preservice and inservice teachers is such a rewarding opportunity to pay it forward and pass on the love shown to me by generations of teachers and students," Witte said. "I love sharing information with and supporting teachers, and ultimately I am surrounded by an outstanding faculty of teacher educators who share these same goals.”

Witte, along with Dr. Sara Kajder from the University of Georgia, will be presented with the award at NCTE’s annual convention on Nov. 18 in Anaheim, California.

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