Introducing Our New Co-Author

Last month, Dana Murphy departed from our co-author team. Dana’s commitment to teaching young writers is admirable. I learned so much about teaching young writers and coaching from her blog posts and from our personal conversations. She was a valuable member of our writing team for over three years. However, Dana is also my friend. Therefore, I understood when she told me she needed to spend more time with her family.

The co-author team and I met in November to chat about expanding our team after Dana’s departure. While eight people might seem like a lot of voices for this blog, we find it to be the perfect number for us. We knew we needed a middle school voice since the rest of us spend the majority of our time working with elementary school students and elementary school teachers. Several of us knew of a middle school coach in Connecticut who had a lot of classroom and coaching experience. After chatting with Lanny Ball, I knew he would be an excellent addition to our co-author team. Therefore, it’s my pleasure to introduce Lanny to you today.

Lanny Ball

Lanny Ball

Lanny is a certified reading consultant and reading specialist, as well as a former classroom teacher. For fifteen years, Lanny taught English Language Arts to seventh and eighth graders in both Oregon and Connecticut. During his tenure as classroom teacher, Lanny presented at multiple conferences, including the New England League of Middle Schools Conference and the Oregon Reading Association Conference. In 2009, Lanny left the classroom to become a literacy coach and eventually a national staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) based at Columbia University in New York City. This work brought Lanny to schools in and around New York City, as well as the country, supporting teachers and administrators in implementing reading and writing workshop primarily in middle schools. Lanny holds an M.A.T. from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, as well as degrees in Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts and Reading Consultancy, both from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Lanny has taught graduate courses at Portland State University, where he is an adjunct professor.  

After growing up an Oregonian, Lanny and his wife now reside in Northwestern Connecticut with their three daughters. He truly enjoys being a dad, as well as playing the piano in his band. Currently, he works as a reading consultant and literacy specialist for Region 15 Schools in Middlebury/Southbury where he continues to support teachers and students in literacy. He also blogs about supporting middle school readers and writers at home at lannyball.com. You can find Lanny on Twitter at @LannyBall.