Now an international literacy and leadership consultant, ReLeah began her career as a middle-school English teacher in Florida. She soon moved to high school and not only continued to teach all grades of English, including AP, but also co-taught with an American government and economics teacher, where she learned the value of interdisciplinary instruction. In addition, she taught journalism, speech, debate, and helped create a law academy in an inner-city school.
She then became a founding member of a statewide literacy project at the University of Central Florida where, as a member of a team, she created and implemented courses for Florida’s Reading Endorsement as well as working with schools and districts across the state as they implemented literacy leadership teams. Since then, she has been busy consulting, writing books, and authoring numerous articles for professional journals. Her recent books include This is Disciplinary Literacy: Reading, Writing, Thinking and Doing. . .Content Area by Content Area (2016, Corwin), Common Core CPR: What about the Adolescents Who Struggle. . .or Just Don’t Care? with Barry Gilmore (2013, Corwin) andOvercoming Textbook Fatigue (2012, ASCD).
ReLeah is past chair of NCTE’s Standing Committee against Censorship and has spent much of her career ensuring that books are available for all readers. Her activism in this area led to her being honored with both NCTE and ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Awards. She was also the recipient of the PEN First Amendment Award at a gala in New York City. Her early battles against censorship formed the topic of her first book, At the Schoolhouse Gate: Lessons in Intellectual Freedom (co-authored with Gloria Pipkin, 2002, Heinemann) and, later, another book, Keep Them Reading, An Anti-Censorship Handbook for Educators (2013, Teachers College Press), on how schools and districts can avoid censorship and challenges.
ReLeah now lives in Blue Ridge, Georgia with her husband, Bert, and their two dogs, Sierra and Sage. When she is not writing or consulting, the four of them enjoy hiking in the beautiful mountains they call home.