Dr. Jill Lewis-Spector of Highland Park, a professor of literacy education at New Jersey City University, has been elected to a three-year term as an officer of the International Reading Association (IRA) that begins with the vice presidency and concludes with the position of president of this 70,000-member international organization.
One of the world’s largest educational membership organizations, the IRA is dedicated to promoting reading by continually advancing the quality of instruction and research worldwide. With chartered councils in 60 countries and more than 1,000 communities around the globe, the IRA is the world’s foremost expert on literacy.
Dr. Lewis-Spector was first elected to the International Reading Association Board of Directors in 2004 and has been chair of the IRA’s Government Relations Committee and President of its LEADER Special Interest group. Dr. Lewis-Spector was also president of the American Reading Forum and chair of the Teacher Education Division of the Association of Literacy Education and Researchers, both national organizations.
In New Jersey, Dr. Lewis-Spector served on the New Jersey Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Middle School Literacy and New Jersey State Council for Adult Literacy Education Services. She has served on the Governor’s Task Force on Early Literacy and co-chaired New Jersey’s initial project for developing the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards Framework for Arts Literacy.
She has also served on the Long Range Planning Committee of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education’s Quality Team, Community Advisory Board of New Jersey Network, Teacher Quality and Enhancement Statewide Consortia Advisory Board, Education Committee of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, and the Reader Evaluation Panel for the New Jersey Department of Education’s New Jersey Reading First Grants.
Internationally, Dr. Lewis-Spector was the technical director and lead volunteer for the Secondary Education Reform Activity program in Macedonia and worked in Kazakhstan and Albania for the IRA/Soros Foundation’s Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Project.
Dr. Lewis-Spector is the author of Academic Literacy: Reading Strategies and Background Essays (4th ed.) and Essential Questions in Adolescent Literacy. She was lead author of On the Frontline: Advocating Effectively for Your School, Your Students, and Your Profession; Adolescent Literacy Instruction: Policies and Promising Practices; and Reading Success for Struggling Adolescent Learners. Dr. Lewis-Spector has also written numerous peer-reviewed articles on professional development, advocacy, and content area reading and has been a featured speaker at many state, national, and international conferences.
A member of the NJCU faculty since 1973, Dr. Lewis-Spector has served as chair of the Department of Literacy Education and director of the Henry J. Raimondo Institute for Urban Research and Public Policy. She has directed the Community Outreach Partnership Center (Housing and Urban Development) at NJCU and was a founder and trustee of the University Academy Charter High School.
A former public school teacher, Dr. Lewis-Spector holds a bachelor of science degree in English education from Buffalo State College (SUNY), a master of arts degree in reading education from George Washington University, and a doctoral degree in educational theory from Rutgers University.
A non-profit global network, the IRA supports reading teachers and other literacy professionals by providing professional development resources, advocating for policy and practices that benefit all teachers and students, and conducting research that promotes informed decision-making about literacy practice in the classroom. The IRA’s many publications and peer-reviewed journals, including Reading Research Quarterly, provide coverage of research-based practices for the classroom and ideas and reflections on literacy from around the world.