Wendy Williams is an Assistant Professor of English Education at Arizona State University. She studies youth literacies, visual and multimodal composition, and teacher education. She taught high school and middle school English for 9 years.
I am an extraordinary member of that elite group of teachers who thrive on working with middle school students. It is my belief that the best way to teach writing is to be a writer. As a writer myself, I combine my unique skill set of theater, rhetoric, and writing skills to provide an intellectually rich and creative environment for my students. My classroom is a truly different kind of “school.” In my writing lab, I encourage students to compose original – both creative and academic – and I develop them to ever-higher achievement in all types of academic writing tasks.
As an adjunct professor, I bring to my adult learners the same dedication of purpose as I do with my middle school students. And, I bring a remembrance of the difficulties in being successful as a college-level, academic writer. Writing for college can be scary and difficult. I remove those difficulties for my students by allowing them control over their learning. I require a high level of precision in writing, but I develop success in students by giving them ownership in their work and focus. In the end, my students are ready to write for their college career.
I treat all students with the utmost respect, helping them with humor, grace, and patience to become the best people they can.
Get to Know Your AETA Board!
Alice D. Hays taught English for 19 years at both Tolleson Union High School and Gilbert High School before deciding to pursue a PhD in English Education at Arizona State University. She currently teaches English 101/102 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College as well as English 101 and various Methods of Teaching English courses at Arizona State University.
While working on her doctorate, she was fortunate enough to be invited to an Arizona English Teachers Association meeting, and eventually was elected secretary for the board in 2015. It has been her pleasure to support this organization in this capacity.
AETA President Kelly O'Rourke
Executive Secretary Wendy Williams
Kelly O'Rourke has been involved with AETA since she first moved to Arizona in 2000 and attended her first conference. She has served as regional director, coordinator of the Teachers as Writers contest, editor of Connections and is now starting a two-year term as President. Kelly began her teaching career in 1988, teaching special education classes in southern California. She then attended the South Coast Writing Project and moved into the English/language arts classroom. In addition to being a fellow with SCWriP, she is also a fellow with the San Jose Area Writing Project and earned her National Boards certification in 1999 through the first Boards cohort to go through the process at Stanford University. Kelly is currently teaching language arts to 6th, 7th and 8th grade gifted and mainstream students at Desert Canyon Middle School in Scottsdale where she lives with her husband and two children.