Tonya B. Perry

Tonya B. Perry is a Professor of Secondary English Education and serves as the Executive Director for GEAR UP Alabama and the Red Mountain Writing Project. In addition, she is the director for NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices program. In every capacity, she has worked to achieve equity for her students, teachers, colleagues, families and communities, and her work focuses on civically and justice-engaged teaching, service, and scholarship.

Her research in the secondary schools is primarily focused on supporting marginalized populations, particularly in the areas of writing, urban and rural education, and teacher preparation. She is most interested in the ways in which we prepare middle and high school students and their teachers to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond. Her work has been published in English Journal, Voices from the Middle, Theory Into Practice, and other journals, handbooks, and books. She continues to serve, research and work directly with teachers, students, and families to promote equitable literacy practices through programs and events, such as Family Write Nights, Writing with the Stars, When Teachers Write group, and the Community Writes programs.

She has taught English Language Arts Methods courses and young adult literature. In 2000-2001, she was named Alabama Teacher of the Year and further awarded National Teacher of the Year Finalist. In 2012, she was the recipient of the UAB Teaching Excellence Award. She serves as a member of the Research on Women in Education executive board, affiliated with AERA. She will soon join the National Writing Project Board of Directors and is a member of the Beloved Community in the National Writing Project.

In her free time, Tonya enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, other family and friends. In her spare time, she loves to travel and expand her understanding of different cultures.

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