The CATE Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the profession of teaching English/language arts in California.

The nominee shall have been a CATE member for at least 15 years; shall have served in significant positions of leadership within CATE, both at the local council committee level and at the CATE Board level; shall have been recognized as a leader in English language arts education; and shall have made a substantial contribution to the improvement of the profession.

CATE Distinguished Service Award Recipients

In our profession, so much is required in order to be everything our students deserve. The demands are great; this is no career for the uncommitted. Teaching well takes diligence, knowledge, passion, energy, flexibility, and skill.

Occasionally we meet someone at a conference, on a committee or a college class, or, if we’re especially fortunate, on our own staff, who exemplifies that ideal sense of professionalism that is so easily recognizable. These leaders are our models and our guides, the men and women for whom our respect is earned, and with whom we have the common goal of providing the best opportunities for student achievement.

Each year CATE honors such a leader in the teaching of English/language arts with their highest recognition, the CATE Distinguished Service Award.


2018 Recipient: Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher, author and speakerSocrates stated that “Education is the kindling of a flame.” Kelly Gallagher has devoted his career to kindling the flame of learning, for students and teachers- inspiring the love of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Developing lifelong readers. Today Kelly Gallaher’s is considered one of the leading voices in literacy education.Kelly recognizes that part of the reason his students struggle with reading is because they lack prior knowledge and background. Students can decode works, but the words remain meaningless without a foundation of knowledge.

First and foremost Kelly is a committed, dedicated high school ELA teacher. Kelly keeps his students and his pen in the forefront of his work. He points out that students need to have choice when it comes to reading. He believes that to become a lifelong reader, one has to do a lot of varied and high interest reading. He states, “ I a proponent of academic reading, my 9th graders read Romeo and Juliet and 12th graders read Hamlet. “ But he strongly believes kids should be encouraged to read recreationally, they should be encouraged to read goofy and fun kinds of reading. Reminding us it is the kind of reading that is really foundational to build a lifelong love of reading. Kids should be reading all kinds of things, comic books, magazines, websites, etc.

Kelly has written several books for teachers, Readicide, Write Like This and his latest book In the Best Interest of Students which have been used to inspire education all around the world.

Thank you, Kelly, for empowering students and teachers to express the best in themselves, by fostering a love and respect for words; spoken works, written works and listening to works, and simply enjoying the power of words. It is with the most respect and admiration that I present the CATE Distinguished Service Award to Kelly Gallagher.

2017 Recipient: Bill Younglove

The awardee for the 2017 CATE Distinguished Service Award is Bill Younglove.

Bill YoungloveBill Younglove received his undergraduate degree in English in Michigan, earned an M.A. in American Studies at USC and completed his Ed.D with a dissertation on writing assessment at UCLA. Advanced studies include an USHMM Fellowship at the Berlin Summer Academy, Yad Yashem in Holocaust history and literature, and peer professional development in California Literature at the South Basin Writing Project. However, Bill claims that he received the “best teacher training ever” at the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, SC, with advance training at Quantico, VA (MOS-Instructor).

He taught English, served as Title I writing specialist and coached water polo for thirty-eight years (19 in middle school and 19 in high school) in Long Beach. Bill presently works part-time at CSU Long Beach as an Instructor/Teacher Supervisor. He contributed to the NCTE Task Force on Council History in 2011 and currently serves on the Editorial Board of PRISM: Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators (Yeshiva University). Publications include Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd ed.): “Children’s Holocaust Literature”; an Anthology and Teacher’s Guide editor, The Call of Memory: Learning About the Holocaust Through Narrative; foreword to Abenteurer wider Willen and, in progress, Anne Frank Re- imag(e)ined: Toward 21st Century. He also regularly contributes letter(s) to the editor on educational issues to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Jewish Journal, CTA’s California Educator, News Digest International, and The New Yorker. Bill has served on the CATE Board of Directors since 1997 and is currently serving as an ex-officio member gathering information about the Common Core. He has participated in and presented on curricular pedagogy and Holocaust-related literature, not only at CATE but also in eleven states, Washington, D.C. and ten countries (mostly Europe and Israel) since 1970.

One of Bill’s pet peeves is people who have never taught a single day in their lives telling teachers “how to do it.” Two of his greatest hopes: for himself – that he will win The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, and for humanity – that Margot Frank’s diary may yet surface, and that no such future diaries will ever have to be written by children under genocidal conditions.


2016 Recipient: Jayne Marlink

The awardee for the 2016 CATE Distinguished Service Award is Jayne Marlink.

Jayne MarlinkJayne Marlink has played a pivotal role in California ELA for thirty-eight years. After earning her B.A. in English and teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento in 1977, Jayne taught creative writing/ publication courses, remedial classes, ESL, Advanced Placement, proficiency classes, Transition to College Writing classes and conducted writing labs during a fifteen-year career in high school classrooms. From 1987 to 1992, she served as Program Coordinator, Transition to College English, Area 3 Writing Project, UC Davis. From 1992 to 1998, Jayne served as Director of the Writing Project at UC Davis. She then co-directed the California Writing Project and was an Associate Director of the National Writing Project, University of California, Berkeley, until 2001 when she became the Executive Director of the California Writing Project. The author of numerous articles on writing, her work has appeared frequently in California English, The Northern California Writing Project, Open Mic: A Journal of the California Subject Matter Projects and the National Writing Project Quarterly. She has been recognized for exemplary campus and community contributions by the UC Berkeley SPOT Awards in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. In addition, Jayne was the Grant Joint Union High School District Teacher of the Year in 1990 and received the National Council of Teachers of English Publications Awards of Excellent and Superior for Multilingual Voices in 1985, 1986 and 1987. She coordinates the CWP- sponsored CATE Pre-Convention which takes place on the Thursday before the CATE Convention, recently dedicating the pre-convention to James Beard, and including recognition of local student writers.


2012 Recipient: Carleen Hemric

Carleen HemricThis year’s Distinguished Service Award honors Carleen Hemric of Greater San Diego Council of Teachers of English. Carleen is a long-time member of CATE and NCTE. She has provided leadership for conferences and conventions at all three levels.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Carleen graduated from Berea College in Kentucky and then completed a Master’s degree in English from Appalachian State University in Boone. She began her teaching career in the east and then taught at Pershing Junior High School in San Diego for thirty-seven years, retiring in 2001. She has forty-three years of teaching experience!

During her years at Pershing, Carleen taught English and was the yearbook and literary magazine advisor. She taught many students to pursue writing careers. Her former students include Lê Thi Diem Thúy, author of The Gangster We Are All Looking For, and Margaret Dilloway, who wrote How to Be An American Housewife.

Carleen started on the CATE Board as San Diego’s Resolutions Chair and spent two CATE conventions crafting resolutions with other regional council representatives. She was quickly recognized for her writing skills and her ability to clarify people’s perspectives and was asked to serve as CATE secretary, which she did from 1995 to 2006. Since retirement she has served as secretary for the San Diego City Friends of the Library and helps craft the writing prompts for the One Book, One San Diego program. Carleen has always been a steady leader behind the scenes and the calm steady force that inspires others to pursue their potential.


2011 Recipient: Kathleen Cecil

Kathleen CecilThe Distinguished Service Award was granted posthumously to Kathleen Cecil 1948-2010 recognizing her dedication and service to the work of CATE.Kathleen was born in Norfolk,Virginia, to Joseph and Mary Cecil. She has two younger sisters and one younger brother. The family lived in many places during the early years of her life including Guam, Washington State, and San Diego because her father was in the U. S. Navy. She attended St. Mary’s College in Indiana where she met Tom. After they married, they moved to San Francisco and had two sons, Devin and Blair.

She worked as a substitute teacher for a time and then began teaching at Mercy High School in San Francisco. She moved to Mission High School because she felt that the students there needed her more. She taught at Mission for the last twelve years—always with zeal, concern and a sense of mission.

Passionate is a word that many who know her—family, colleagues and students—associate with Kathleen. At a time when districts were offering a bonus to teachers to entice them to teach in inner-city schools, Kathleen taught there by choice. She felt that her students did not get a fair deal in many ways. She worked tirelessly to help them, forcing them to succeed even when they thought they didn’t want to or couldn’t. Her support varied from making banana bread for them to practicing “tough love,” showing them that making school easy for them was selling them short. She knew that they could learn and succeed even if they thought it wasn’t possible. Equity and access was important to Kathleen and she felt it was often missing at all levels of education.

Junior Alvin Blanco-Ramirez said about his teacher, “In ninth grade, I was a bad slacker. She kept pushing me to do my work. If she wasn’t there for me through all these years, I’d probably still be in ninth grade right now.” Brianna Frank, also in 11th grade, echoed the sentiment. She described being upset with herself for her initial reaction to Kathleen. “I couldn’t believe I was mad at a teacher who tried to help me with all her might — and I mean all of it.”

To achieve the goals she set for her students and for education in general, Kathleen took a passionate interest in political action. She was an executive board member of the United Educators of San Francisco, and belonged to a peer-support group called Teachers 4 Social Justice. Kathleen worked tirelessly to make change a reality. She actively served on the Curriculum Study Commission, was on the board of the Central California Council Teachers of English as Policy Chair and was Resolutions Chair (political action) for CATE. Last year she served on the same committee at the national level—the NCTE Resolutions Committee—and was appointed chair of that committee for this year. Kathleen motivated those around her to take action, not just to criticize or complain but to do. On the CATE Board she served as our conscience and moral compass; she asked the tough questions and reminded us of the fate of students who were on the fringe—poor, displaced, speaking English as a second language and experiencing failure at every level.

This August Kathleen passed away after suffering a brain aneurism on the first day of school during her third-period English class. Mission High School students say their teacher was known for her biting sarcasm, brutal honesty, and dedication to her students. A part of a high school hallway was decorated with personal notes about her, including some of their favorite —Cecilisms,— such as “It’s OK, you can turn in your work next year.”

Although Kathleen was passionate about teaching and about her students, her greatest passion was reserved for her family. She traveled extensively with her sons giving her time, energy and love to each of them individually. She and her artist son, Devin, visited the museums and galleries of Europe. With her adventurous son, Blair, she explored Asia and Egypt. What wonderful memories they will all cherish. Kathleen will be remembered by those who loved and admired her for her passion, dedication, energy and concern, and maybe above all her quick and sometimes biting humor. Her legacy will live on through her family, students, the new teachers she mentored, and her colleagues. She was a true friend and will be missed but not forgotten.


2010 Recipient: Carole LeCren

Carole LeCrenA native San Diegan, Carole began her teaching career in 1985 at Standley Junior High School. After a short stint there, she moved on to Bell Junior High School, where she taught for the next ten years. In 1996, after earning a National Board Certification and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at San Diego State University, Carole moved to La Jolla High School, where she continues her teaching today. For San Diego Unified she has been department chair, WASC committee leader, department webmaster, curriculum writer, GATE teacher, site governance chair, and mentor teacher.

Those of us who have been active in CATE know that Carole is a powerhouse for the greater San Diego area. For Greater San Diego Council of Teachers of English she has served on the Board as member-at-large, vice president-programs and publicity, president, past-president, council representative to CATE, newsletter editor and webmaster. Of course, she has been a regular presenter/facilitator in the area for the GSDCTE, San Diego Area Writing Project, California Literature Project, and San Diego Unified School District. In 1995, when the NCTE convention was held in San Diego, she served as a convention committee member, organizing and hosting the convention. Whenever the CATE convention is in San Diego—or even Palm Springs, where she was convention chair in 2003—Carole is a tireless member of the convention team.

For CATE she is an essential contributor and leader. The program you are currently reading is designed and produced by Carole. The flyer sent around the state announcing this convention was also her work. You may have been checked in by her at registration. And you will see her throughout this weekend working behind the scenes and at general sessions, luncheons, and smaller functions. She is one of those educators who we wonder how she has time for any life outside the profession.

And yes, she is a phenomenal classroom teacher. Ask anyone who has had the opportunity to observe her in action.

The California Association of Teachers of English recognizes and honors the exemplary work of our colleague, friend, and mentor — Carole LeCren.


2009 Recipient: Anna J. Small Roseboro 

Anna Roseboro

Anna came to San Diego in the mid-1980’s after having taught some 20 years in Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts. The Bishop’s School in La Jolla became her professional home from 1987 until 2005, where she served as speech teacher, English teacher, department chair, mentor teacher, and summer session director.

During this time she earned a fellowship through the San Diego Area Writing Project, later becoming a member of their Board of Advisors. She earned her Masters degree in Curriculum Design, became a National Board Certified Teacher, and frequently presented workshops at local, regional, statewide, and national conferences and conventions. She was named Speech Coach of the year, and in 1998, her overall work in the San Diego area earned her CATE‘s Classroom Excellence Award.

She has published several articles, in CATE‘s California English, NCTE‘s English Journal and English Leadership Quarterly, The Creative Writing Journal, Easy Reference, the California Association of Independent Schools’ Quarterly, Promising Practices, and for the book publisher Scott Foresman. As consultant and critical reader for textbooks, her input has been invaluable to McDougal Littell, Perfection Learning, and Scott Foresman. An article reviewer for English Journal and contributor to California English, she also worked as an evaluator of research proposals for National Professional Teaching Standards for the Rand Corporation in 2002.

In 1996, Anna was invited to participate in Rotary International’s Study Exchange program for Educators, traveling through Kenya, Mauritius, The Seychelles, and Uganda over a four-week visit, where she had wonderful opportunities to observe, learn, and share.

She joined CATE‘s Board of Directors in 1998 as Member-at-Large, after having served Greater San Diego Council’s Board as member, treasurer, and corresponding secretary. Anna was elected president of CATE for 2002-2004, and was our NCTE liaison from 2004-2005, the same years she co-chaired her school’s WASC self-study process and report.

In 2005, Anna retired from The Bishop’s School and CATE, and returned to Michigan where she teaches in the Communication Arts and Sciences Department at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, and from where she continues her commitment through her work on that campus, for Michigan Council Teachers of English, and for NCTE.

Since she “retired,” Anna has served on NCTE’s Conference on English Leadership’s Executive and Program Committees. She is Program Chair of NCTE’s CEL conference for next November’s 2009 annual convention in Philadelphia. Further, also for NCTE, Anna has been a facilitator for The Literacy Institute, mentor for The LeaderShift Institute, member of The Task Force for Diversity, and The Standing Committee on Teacher Preparation.

And yes, she teaches phenomenally as well. Ask anyone who has had the opportunity to observe her in action.

The California Association of Teachers of English recognizes and honors the exemplary work of our colleague, friend, and mentor — Anna Roseboro.


2008 Recipient: Akiko Morimoto

Akiko MorimotoThe CATE Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the profession of teaching English/language arts in California. Nominees are identified using the following criteria: The nominee shall have been a CATE member for at least 15 years, and served in significant positions of leadership within CATE, both at the local council committee level and at the CATE Board level. The nominee shall have been recognized as a local, state, and national leader in English/language arts education and shall have made a substantial contribution to the improvement of the profession. Akiko Morimoto is the epitome of the above definition as she has dedicated herself to our profession with a cornucopia of achievements that demonstrate the depth and breadth of her distinguished service.

Akiko distinguishes herself through sixteen years of meritorious service in significant positions on the CATE Board from 1990-2006 as vice president, member-at-large, middle and unspecified, GSDCTE representative, and convention chair. She continues to present at the conventions, and facilitate the new teacher reception.

Akiko Morimoto has also served NCTE as a middle level representative, Region 8 Affiliates Representative, annual convention local arrangements co-chair for San Diego and San Francisco, Executive Director Search Committee, Nominating Committee member, Nominating Committee, Middle Level Chair, Language Commission, and received the NCTE Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Educator Award in 2007.

Akiko’s dedicated work in the Greater San Diego Council of Teachers of English continues to be stellar. She has served as president, vice president, publicity, vice president, and member-at-large, unspecified. She is always an integral part of the GSDCTE conference process and continues to present at a local level on a regular basis.

As an English teacher for twenty-nine years, National Board Certified teacher, and school improvement program coordinator, Akiko was a driving force at Washington Middle School where she was an AVID coordinator and teacher, mentor teacher, and yearbook advisor. She was the first public educator to be invited to serve on the Old Globe Theaters Board. Akiko is a San Diego Writing Project fellow and a California Reading and Literature Project fellow, and received a Teacher Excellence Award from both CATE and GSDCTE. Her incredible resume goes on and on with notable work in the Annenberg film, “Teaching Multicultural Literature: a Workshop for the Middle Grades,” and herself as the fictional “Ms. Morimoto” in Becoming Naomi Leon, by Pam Munoz Ryan.

These are just a few of the accomplishments that exemplify Akiko Morimoto as a truly worthy recipient of the CATE 2008 Distinguished Service Award, and we congratulate and thank her for distinguishing herself at the local, state, and national levels.


2007 Recipient: Cheryl Joseph

Cheryl JosephThe CATE Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the profession of teaching English/language arts in California. Nominees are identified using the following criteria: The nominee shall have been a CATE member for at least 15 years, and served in significant positions of leadership within CATE, both at the local council committee level and at the CATE Board level. The nominee shall have been recognized as a local, state, and national leader in English/language arts education and shall have made a substantial contribution to the improvement of the profession. Cheryl Joseph is the epitome of the above definition as she has dedicated herself to our profession since 1973.

Cheryl has been a CATE member since 1982, and distinguished herself through twelve years of meritorious service on the CATE Board from 1993-2005 as vice president, member-at-large, convention program chair, convention local arrangement chair and committee, chair of two leadership conferences, Central Council representative, and convention chair. Her leadership as the Monterey convention chair led to one of CATE’s most successful conventions ever.

Cheryl Joseph has also served as a board member, president, past president, chair of two regional conferences and Asilomar conference representative for the Central California Council of Teachers of English. She represented CCCTE and CATE at NCTE conventions, worked on various NCTE committees, and served on the local arrangements committee for the NCTE convention in San Francisco. She was given a Distinguished Teacher Award by CCCTE in 1999, and an Outstanding Partner in Learning award by NCTE in 2003.

As an organizer and board member for the Monterey Area Teachers of English, Cheryl Joseph planned three local conferences, and is recognized as a leader in that area. She has also received additional recognition for her work by the Monterey Foundation with a Allen Griffin Award for Teaching Excellence, the BTSA Distinguished Service Award, an Exemplary Teaching Award from Governor Davis, an Outstanding Teacher Recognition from UCSD, and Outstanding Teacher of the Year from Seaside High School. Cheryl has also held such leadership positions as mentor, department chair, textbook reviewer, grant writer, course and curriculum designer, trainer, vertical team leader, coordinator, AVID trainer, and facilitator. She has even attended conferences and presented in Moscow, the Crimea, and Helsinki, Finland as part of her affiliation with the Sister to Sister Women’s Conference. Since August 2006, Cheryl Joseph has helped create and coordinate the language arts program at the new Marina High School.

Cheryl Joseph is a truly worthy recipient of the CATE 2007 Distinguished Service Award, and we congratulate and thank her for everything that she has done and will do in the future.


Past Distinguished Service Award Winners

2004 Vince Piro

2003 Robin Luby

2002 Jesse Perry

2001 Judith Toll

2000 Dianne Lucas

1999 Bob Infantino

1998 Leni Cook

1997 Don Mayfield

1996 Pat Cipriano

1995 Dani Barton

1994 Geroge Nemetz

1993 Ken Lane

1992 Nancy McHugh

1991 James E. Day

1990 Faye Louise Grindstaff

1989 Marilyn Kahl

1988 Alice Scofield

1987 John Carter

1986 Miles Myers

1985 Kermeen Fristrom

1984 Helen Lodge