Professional Development

Wonderopolis Creator to Lead English Teachers’ Group

By Liana Loewus — October 15, 2015 1 min read

The National Council of Teachers of English has hired Emily Kirkpatrick, who is the vice president at the National Center for Families Learning and the creator of a literacy platform focused on nonfiction, as its a new executive director.

As you may know, Kent D. Williamson, who served as executive director of the group for 15 years, died in June after a long illness. Barbara Cambridge has been serving as NCTE’s interim director.

Kirkpatrick created Wonderopolis, a website that posts daily queries about the world in order to help students engage with informational texts. The site and app, well-used by teachers, answers questions like, “Why do cats purr?” and “What causes freckles?” and was voted one of the 50 best websites by Time in 2011.

Over the last 17 years, she’s worked in a variety of roles at the NCFL, including in donor relations and fundraising. Kirkpatrick has served as vice president since 2008.

She’ll officially take over the executive director position at NCTE in mid November.

Image: Emily Kirkpatrick, From NCTE

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.