Eddie C. Kennedy Award

This award is named in honor of West Virginia University professor, Dr. Eddie C. Kennedy. Dr. Kennedy is an inspiration to the many students he taught (1953-1976) and to his membership in the West Virginia Reading Association and Local Reading Councils.

Nominations must represent any certified teacher K-12, across the curriculum, who has made outstanding contributions to helping students become proficient readers and life-long learners.

Compass with Butterfly Wings

Past Recipients

Myrtle Collins, 1977
Alfredlene Armstrong, 1980
Joyce Morris, 1981
Georgeann Grewe, 1982
Frank Mace,1985
Susanne Glover, 1986
Lois Meadows, 1987
Brenda Frazier, 1988
Sandra Keeney, 1989
Kay Pratt, 1990
Jean Pearcy, 1991
Patricia Porter, 1992
Pat East, 1993
Pat Myers, 1994
Carolyn Shuman, 1995
Rosemary Basham, 1996
Jean Workman, 1997
Jan McNeel, 1998
Sharon Cuomo, 1999
Annette Blevins, 2000


Sheila Toth, 2001
Denise White, 2003
Mary Kay Wensyel, 2004
Bridgette Call, 2005
Brenda Chadwell, 2006
Lisa Clutter, 2007
Marguerite Harbison, 2008
Rita Mace, 2009
Kristy Latocha, 2010
Pam Eller, 2011
Rhonda Tennant, 2012
Lee Ann Burton, 2013
Pam Frey, 2014
Jone Hersch, 2015
Heather Haught, 2016
Kimberly Handley Hunt, 2017
Kersten Marquart, 2018
Teresa Brown, 2019
No award given, 2020
Kasey Conner, 2021
Amanda Sammons Meadows, 2022

Madge McDaniel Award

This award honors the memory of our first elected President of the West Virginia Reading Association, Madge McDaniel (1904-2004). Ms. McDaniel was – and continues to be – an inspiration to WVRA members and local reading councils.

Nominations must represent an educator or administrator (K-12 or at the collegiate level) who has made outstanding contributions to the field of reading literacy. This may include, but is not limited to superintendents, principals, supervisors, Title I directors, county language arts coordinators/supervisors, reading specialists, and staff development coordinators.


Past Recipients

Donna Adams, 1995
Sharon Diaz, 1996
Diana Wood, 1997
Frances Horton, 1998
Barbara Korn, 1999
Phyllis Repass, 2000
Melvin Graham, 2001
Beverly Kingery, 2002
Dr. Judy Abbot, 2003
Helen Davies, 2004
Sue Talbott, 2005
Janet Foss, 2006
Mary Elizabeth Thomas, 2007
Dr. Bonnie Ritz, 2008
Dr. Robert Harrison, 2009
Beverly Kingery, 2010
Boyd Mynes, 2011
Viki Caldwell, 2013
Brenda Chadwell, 2014
Tony Nichols, 2015
Kim Burnett, 2016
Dr. Allison Pyle, 2017
Connie Mundy, 2018
Kathy Chapman, 2019
No award given, 2020
Dr. Sarah Lee, 2021
Julia Duffield, 2022

Dr. Jennie Bechtold Award

The award honors Dr. Jennie Bechtold who made numerous contributions to the West Virginia Reading Association over the years. Dr. Bechtold served as President, IRA Coordinator, and chaired many committees. She served on the prestigious IRA Nominations Committee. Her untiring commitment to the WVRA, IRA, and the countless students she mentored, was exemplary.

Nominations must represent outstanding full-time elementary teachers, Title 1 reading specialists, or reading interventionists who have been employed for 1-5 years.

Past Recipients

Lauren Wells, 2010
Amanda Flora, 2011
Megan Burdick, 2012
Amy Merrill, 2013
Jade Schultz, 2014
Jocelyn Kae Casto, 2015
Amanda Cayton, 2016
Courtney Wood, 2017
Danyal VanMeter, 2018
Katie Burns, 2019
No award given, 2020
No award given, 2021
Allyson Varlas, 2022

Cynthia Lorentz-Cook Memorial Grant Award

This award was created in 1982 to honor the memory of Cynthia Lorentz-Cook, a Charleston, West Virginia native. The purpose of this award is to provide funds (up to $500) to a local council in need of development assistance for literacy programs and projects. Applications must be submitted through a local reading council or affiliate.

Feather Pen. Quill, if you quill.

Past Recipients


Pocahontas County


Nicholas County


Webster County
Marshall County


Cabell County “Polar Express Night”
Nicholas County “Sidewalk Libraries”
Webster County “Reading Shower”


Brooke County “ STREAM”
Cabell County “Flashlight Reading Night”
Webster County “ Bedtime Routines”


Barbour County “Parents and Reading”
Webster County “Daddy and Me Picnic in the Park”


Harrison County
Mason County
Webster County

Special Service Award

The West Virginia Reading Association Service Award is an internal award presented by the Board of Directors for outstanding service to WVRA. Nominations can be directed too or made by a WVRA Board Member by a written letter of recommendation. The Board of Directors will vote on the internal nomination.

Past Recipients

Dr. Mary Marockie, 1980
Mary Agnes Borgman, 1981
Dr. Jennie Bechtold, 1982
Jeanette Malson, 1985
Sister Barbara Campbell, 1986
Robert K Harris, 1988
Joyce Morris, 1989
Ann Beck, 1990
Dianna Wood, 1992
Linda Reid, 1994
Sharon Diaz, 1995
Sue Talbott, 1995
Lois Meadows, 1997
Frances Horton, 2002
Frank Mace, 2003
Jeannie Morris, 2013
Dennis Caldwell, 2014
Viki Caldwell, 2014
Mary Kay Wensyel, 2015
Aleda Hileman, 2016
Moke Post, 2016
Bruce Neal, 2017
Tony Nichols, 2018
Kimberly Burris, 2018
Jean Workman, 2018
John Griffith, 2019
No award given, 2020

Citation of Merit Award

Dr. Phil Suder, 1976
Myrtle Collins, 1977
Daniel Taylor, 1977
Dr. Thomas Hatcher, 1977
Dr. Eddie C. Kennedy, 1978
Mary Kay Bond, 1989
Frances Gunter, 1992
Donna Martin, 1993
Dr. Mary Marockie, 1994
Carol “Suzie” Miller, 1997
Dr. Jennie Bechtold, 1998
Joyce Morris, 2006
Melvin Graham, 2009
Sharon Diaz, 2012
Frances Horton, 2012
Lois Meadows, 2013
Jean Pearcy, 2015
Beverly Kingery, 2016
Brenda Chadwell, 2016