Dr. D. Ray Reutzel is the Emma Eccles Jones Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education at Utah State University. Ray is a former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern Utah University; Associate Dean of Teacher Education in the David O. McKay School of Education; and former Chair of the Department of Elementary Education at Brigham Young University. While at BYU, he was the recipient of the 1992 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Research and Creative Arts Professor Award and was an integral part of developing BYU’s nationally celebrated Public School Partnership, the field-based Elementary Education program, the Center for Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) and the Utah/CITES Balanced Literacy initiative as a part of the U.S. and Utah’s Goals 2000 funding. He has served as technical assistant to the Reading Excellence Act and the Reading First federal reading reform projects in the state of Utah. Several years ago, he took a leave from his university faculty position to return to full-time, first-grade classroom teaching in Sage Creek Elementary School. Ray has taught in Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 6th grade.
Dr. Reutzel is the author of more than 165 refereed research reports, articles, books, book chapters, and monographs published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Educational Research, Reading Psychology, Reading Research and Instruction, Language Arts, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and The Reading Teacher, among others. He has received more than $5.5 million in research/professional development funding from private, state, and federal funding agencies. He was recently awarded a $1 million research grant as principal investigator under the Teacher Quality Research Program of the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
He is the past editor of Reading Research and Instruction, the journal of the College Reading Association. He is co-author, with Robert B. Cooter, Jr., of The Essentials for Teaching Children to Read, Second Edition, Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference, Fifth Edition, and Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed, Third Edition published by Pearson Professional & Career. He has written a professional book titled, Your Classroom Library: How to Give It More Teaching Power, with Parker C. Fawson. He is or has been a reviewer for The Reading Teacher, Reading Research Quarterly, Reading Psychology, Journal of Educational Research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Reading Research and Instruction, Journal of Reading Behavior, Journal of Literqacy Research, and The Elementary School Journal.
Dr. Reutzel received the A.B. Herr Award from the College Reading Association in 1999 for Outstanding Research and Published Contributions to Reading Education. He was the e4ditor of the International Reading Association’s professional elementary section journal The Reading Teacher from 2002-2007. He was awarded the Researcher/Scholar of the Year Award by the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University in May, 2004. He was elected Vice-President of the College Reading Association in April of 2005 and served as that organization’s President in 2007. Dr. Reutzel was recognized as a recipient of the College of Education’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming and is the D. Wynne Thorne Outstanding University Research Award recipient from Utah State University in April 2007. Dr. Reutzel was given the John C. Manning Public School Service Award from the International Reading Association in May 2007. Ray will also serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association from 2007-2010.
Dr. Robert B. Cooter, Jr. is the Ursuline Chair of Teacher Education at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to moving to Bellarmine University, Dr. Cooter was Distinguished Professor of Urban Literacy Research at The University of Memphis. Professor Cooter teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in reading/literacy education, and his research focuses on the improvement of reading instruction for children living at the poverty level. In November 2007, Robert Cooter, and colleagues J. Helen Perkins and Kathleen Spencer Cooter, received the 2007 Urban Impact Award from the Council of Great City Schools for their work creating and implementing the Memphis Literacy Academy for teacher capacity-building in high poverty schools.
In March of 2006, Robert Cooter and J. Helen Perkins (University of Memphis) were selected by the International Reading Association to serve as editors through 2011 of The Reading Teacher, the largest literacy education journal in the world.
In higher education administration, Professor Cooter has previously served as departmental chair at Texas Christian University (Curriculum & Instruction), Southern Methodist University (Teacher Education), and The University of Memphis (Instruction and Curriculum Leadership). Dr. Cooter also served as Dean of the College of Education at Austin Peay State University (Tennessee).
Professor Cooter founded the award-winning Memphis Literacy Academy, an outreach program in Memphis City Schools dedicated to raising the expertise and of hundreds of inner-city teachers of reading, and is also co-principal investigator for the Memphis Striving Readers Program (grades 6-9 content areas), a $16 million middle school literacy research project in Memphis City Schools funded under a major grant by the U.S. Department of Education for 2006-2011. Dr. Cooter formerly served as the first “Reading Czar” (associate superintendent) for the Dallas Independent School District (TX) and engineered the district’s highly acclaimed Dallas Reading Plan involving the training of approximately 3,000 teachers in “comprehensive literacy instruction.” In 1998 then Texas governor George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush named him a “Texas Champion for Reading” for his development of the Dallas Reading Plan.
Cooter has authored or co-authored more than 60 journal articles and some 19 books in reading education. His books include the best-selling Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference, 5th ed. (Merrill/Prentice Hall), an evidence-based reading (SBRR) text currently used at over 200 universities; Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (Merrill/Prentice Hall) which is at present the top text in reading assessment in the U.S., Perspectives on Rescuing Urban Literacy Education: Spies, Saboteurs, & Saints (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), The Flynt/Cooter Reading Inventory for the Classroom (Merrill/Prentice-Hall), and the new Comprehensive Reading Inventory (Merrill/Prentice Hall), a norm-referenced reading assessment for classroom use.