Jeff Anderson, also known as the Write Guy, has spent over 30 years working in literacy, first as a teacher and then as a writer of both professional books and the Zach Delacruz middle-grade fiction series. A lifelong Texan, Jeff's career has spanned Texas and across the United States. He spent time with students in the classroom in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Jeff also worked with TEA in the Special Education Division and as a staff developer with the Region 20 ESC. His professional writing and public speaking reached teachers across Texas and the United States as districts and conferences clamored for the ideas shared in his writing and his engaging, entertaining presentation style.
In 2007, his second book Everyday Editing was released two years after Mechanically inclined. These ideas worked in tandem to fill an instructional void. "Jeff's invitations to notice and celebrate grammar through real literature and student writing brought real joy to something challenging, making it accessible, meaningful, and fun," said Dr. Michelle Becwar, Aldine ISD Program Director. His workshops attracted teachers because he never forgot the needs of the classroom. His focus is consistently on engaging the learners through interest and relevance. He understands his audience and that teachers have limited time. His books always provide ready samples to help teachers quickly make meaning and begin planning implementation.
His latest writing, the Patterns of Power series was born from the need for additional support for teachers and students. Realizing that the intricacies of writing instruction shift with age and skill, Jeff partnered with fellow literacy experts from other grade bands to produce a wealth of resources for pre-k, elementary, middle school, and high school including their POPcast podcast.
Although his accomplishments are many, those who have worked with Jeff would want it clarified that it's the person, not the writer, that is most deserving of the Edmund J. Farrell Award. He is warm and genuine with an incredible sense of humor and a giving, generous spirit. Former TCTELA President Kelly Tumy shared, "While Jeff's books on grammar and writing have had me hooked from the beginning, seeing Jeff in person in a workshop made me love him as well. His wealth of knowledge, boundless energy, kind spirit, and wicked sense of humor have drawn a crowd since day one. His love of music and playing with language always have teachers up on their feet and digging into their writing, creating precisely the same learning environment as he advocates for children."
Jeff has and expresses a genuine appreciation for teachers and their love of learning. Despite health issues that required him to focus on personal wellness, he remains committed to literacy and excellence in grammar instruction and is, overall, just an amazing guy, the "Write Guy" who reminds us always to celebrate early and often. It is the right time for the literacy community to celebrate him. He is a Texas leader in the field of English language arts, and his quality leadership and his body of work has and most definitely continues to " advance the growth of all Texas students" as Edmund J. Farrell Award stipulates.
Previous Award Recipients
2023 - Cynthia Tyroff
2022 - Teri Lesesne, Posthumous Award
2021 - Teri Marshall, St Mary's Hall in San Antonio
2020 - Carol Wickstrom, University of North Texas