The Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) is a nationally recognized, non-profit charitable organization that serves English language arts educators in the classroom and the extended education community.
OCTELA’s goals are:
- to promote best practice and teacher leadership,
- to advocate for fair and appropriate education policy,
- and to provide resources and quality professional development that support diverse literacies, classrooms and students.
It is our hope to bring Ohio’s English language arts educators together to build friendships, share ideas, and celebrate teaching and learning.
OCTELA has a longstanding reputation among Ohio English language arts teachers for providing state-of-the-art professional development opportunities, leadership and advocacy for issues affecting teaching and learning, and expert resources for classroom instruction. As evidenced by our national recognition, OCTELA is a premier professional organization for English language arts educators in the state of Ohio and an exemplary national affiliate.
The success of OCTELA is due in no small part to the visionary founding members of our organization, including: Dorothy Whitted (Delaware Public Schools), Beryl Parrish (Bowling Green State University), Ellen Mann (Upper Arlington City Schools), and Vivian Spurgeon (Newark Central Junior High).
At the time of its founding in 1957, OCTELA (then called EAO – the English Assocation of Ohio) was the only statewide affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) representing teachers of English Language Arts, kindergarten through college.
Additionally, our executive board and presidential lineage has provided leadership to sustain and grow OCTELA for the last 60 years.
OCTELA Board of Trustees
1959—1961 Ernest W. Gray, University of Toledo*‡
1961—1962 Wilfred Eberhart, The Ohio State University*‡
1962—1963 Karl Dykema, Youngstown State University*‡
1963—1964 Ruth Smith, DeVilbiss High School*‡
1964—1965 Althea Beery, Cincinnati Public Schools/Elem Supervisor*‡
1965—1966 John Ostrom, Wittenberg University*‡
1966—1967 Kathryn E. Hearn, Delaware Hayes High School*‡
1967—1968 James Drake, Avon Lake High School*‡
1968—1969 Charles Will, Upper Arlington High School*‡
1969—1970 Brother Thomas Corbett, St. Joseph College, Cincinnati*‡
1970—1971 Edward P.J. Corbett, The Ohio State University*‡
1971—1973 Louis Papes, Parma High School, Cleveland*‡
1973—1974 Patricia Bjerstedt, Gahanna Lincoln High School*
1974—1975 H. Thomas McCracken, Youngstown University
1975—1976 James E. Davis, Ohio University
1976—1977 Evelyne Robey, Princeton City Schools/Curriculum Coordinator
1977—1978 Vernon Roberts, Kent State University
1978—1979 Kathryn Dunham, Mount Vernon High School
1979—1980 George Ware, Ohio University—Zanesville
1980—1982 Elizabeth Nace, Summit County ELA Supervisor
1982—1983 Patricia Gilbert, Wright State University
1983—1984 Hazel Davis. Federal Hocking High School
1984—1985 Richard Gebhardt. Findlay College
1985—1986 Judith Keck, Licking County Reading ELA Supervisor
1986—1987 Eileen Tway, Miami University
1987—1988 Karolyn Holm Burkett, Newark High School
1988—1989 Ruth Ann Peck, Northmont Junior High School
1989—1990 Harold M. Foster, University of Akron
1990—1991 Carol Brown, Ohio Department of Education
1991—1992 Bonnie Chambers, Bowling Green State University
1992—1993 Peggy Papritan Martinez, Glenford Elementary—Principal
1993—1994 Evelyn Freeman, OSU—Newark/Education Program Coordinator
1994—1995 Nancy Mellin McCracken, Kent State University
1995—1996 Connie Zitlow, Ohio Wesleyan University/Dir. Secondary Educ.
1996—1997 Patricia Terry, Hamilton County ELA Coordinator
1997—1998 Susan Gardner, Ohio Department of Education
1998—1999 Margaret “Marge” Ford, Memorial High School, Campbell, Media Specialist
1999—2000 Jackie Glasgow, Kent State University—Trumbull County
2000—2001 Sue Malaska, Shelby High School
2001—2002 Margie Bush, Shawnee High School
2002—2003 Allison Baer, Warren Junior High School
2003—2004 Carolyn Suttles, Bristol High School
2004—2005 Colleen Ruggieri, Boardman High School
2005—2006 Cynthia Bowman, Ashland University, Columbus
2006—2007 David Bruce, Kent State University
2007—2008 Michele Winship, Capital University/Dir. of Professional Dev.
2008—2009 Regina Rees, Kent State University
2009—2010 Karla Hieatt Bisig, Wilmington High School
2010—2011 Karen Tollafield, Beachwood Elementary
2011—2012 Karen Carney, Campbell City Schools
2012—2013 Jessica Bennett, Southwest Schools
2013—2014 Sarah Ressler Wright, Rutherford B. Hayes High School, Delaware
2014—2015 Deb Thomas, Granville City Schools
2015—2016 Stephenie Eriksson, Blanchester High School
2016—2017 Virginia McCormac, Beachwood City Schools
Hazeldean Meyers (Stent), Administrative Assistant/Executive Director, 1988-1991
Ruth McClain, Executive Director 1991–2011
*Founding Member of the English Association of Ohio (later, the Ohio Council of Teacher of English Language Arts)