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Six Educators Receive Learning Ally's 2021 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award

Categories: Audiobook Library, Awards, Education & Teaching, Educators, General, In the news, Press Releases

For Immediate Release: 

August 6, 2021 PRINCETON, NJ —Learning Ally, a national education solutions nonprofit, and publisher of The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution, has announced six recipients of its 2021 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award.

This achievement award honors U.S. educators who display exemplary performance to ensure "whole-child literacy and learning in a multitude of settings” for students who are challenged with reading deficits in general and special education.

These six winners will receive monetary prizes for themselves and their school, and distinction in their education communities and state.

  • Jeff Strieker, Superintendent of Schools, Marissa Community Unit School District #40, Marissa, IL. A former elementary and middle school teacher, and principal, Mr. Strieker acknowledges the tremendous efforts made by his teaching and support staff, parents, and his community during the pandemic as students were challenged to learn in remote settings. Always eager to join his staff in reading favorite children's books, Mr. Strieker excels at putting smiles on childrens' faces and joy in their hearts as they hear stories read aloud.

  • Ryan Ashley Wilson, 7th grade ELA teacher, Katy ISD Junior High School, Katy Texas. Ms. Wilson believes that quality learning, quality teachers, safe schools, and community/parent involvement are priorities for all educators. She is a strong proponent for student empowerment and strives to address all intelligences by relating academic concepts to real life situations.

  • Beth Brod, Teacher, Special Education Learning Center, Woodmere Elementary School, Portland, Oregon Public Schools. Ms. Brod specializes in creating inclusive and supportive learning environments to enable students who are ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse to identify the strategies and resources they need to build core reading skills and learning confidence. She recently teamed with The Portland Timbers and their log-slicing mascot Joey Timber (Joey Webber) to meet with children weekly to check on reading progress.

  • Jennifer Voigt, Language Arts Teacher, Individualized Learning Center, Rockwood School District, Creve Coeur, MO. Among many passions, Ms. Voigt instills the joy of reading in every student, and is both a mentor to new teachers in her current position, and with struggling teens in previous teaching engagements.

  • Betsy McGowan, Reading Specialist, Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School, District 15, Brooklyn, NY. Ms. McGowan uses the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution and the Wilson Reading System, to provide literacy intervention to small groups of students. She carries a sincere passion for caring relationships between teachers and students and always delivers abundant creativity and fun activities at the heart of every student interaction. 
  • Dr. Barbara A. Horner, District Literacy Coach, Absecon Public Schools, Galloway, NJ, and adjunct professor at Stockton University. Dr. Horner works with a K-8 staff to implement literacy-based programs and to foster a symbiotic relationship between teacher and student. Believing effective teachers are conduits of knowledge, and every student can learn effectively as active participants in their learning process, Dr. Horner is instrumental in building challenging, supportive class environments to maximize learning potential and a love of learning.

Terrie Noland, VP of Educator Initiatives at Learning Ally, says, “This past school year has been a tumultuous time for educators, students, and their families, and we are especially proud to honor all nominees and winners of this award. These individuals are extraordinary champions of literacy. They understand the challenges students with reading barriers face. Through their provision of equitable learning experiences and resources, like Learning Ally’s Audiobook Solution, more students can break through their barriers to reading and accomplish higher academic and lifelong goals."

If you know an educator, administrator or school that is making a difference for students with reading deficits, Learning Ally’s nomination process is now open for the 2022 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award. For more information or to request a demo, visit or call 800-221-1098.

About Learning Ally                                                 

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit education solutions organization dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help new and struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students in Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allows us to support more than 1.5 million students and 200,000 educators through our solutions and community, across the United States.  Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is the cornerstone award-winning reading resource used in more than 18,500 schools to help students with reading deficits succeed. Composed of high quality, human-read audiobooks and a suite of teacher resources to monitor and support student progress, it is designed to turn struggling readers into engaged learners. 


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