John T Poeton Award

Janet & John Poeton with Lyman Hunt

John T. Poeton is one of the founding fathers of the Vermont Council on Literacy.  He has always deeply cared about the state of reading instruction in Vermont for all students no matter their age.  He made this abundantly clear throughout his years as Vermont’s Language Arts Consultant.  John championed teachers – but even more infamous was his love affair with children’s literature.  Hearing John start a conference session with “…Gather round. Have I got a story for you!” was and still is music to the ears of many educators across the country.  John brought the best literacy speakers to Vermont. He is and has always been an active supporter of the Vermont Council on Literacy. John’s literacy advocacy work took him around the country to work with teachers and school districts. John’s voice and actions are embodied in this annual award!

The John T. Poeton Award is presented annually by the Executive Board of the Vermont Council on Literacy. An award shall be presented by the President or his or her designee at the Spring Conference to an outstanding educator working in a Vermont school setting  fostering literacy development with students and colleagues.

The Executive Board encourages you to make nominations for this award. To be nominated an educator must:

  • Embody the characteristics of its namesake:
    • A strong love and knowledge of quality literature
    • A desire to bring the joy of reading and writing into the school and/or classroom
    • Maintains current professional learning within the the field of literacy instruction
  • have taught for three (3) full years;
  • be currently a full time educator with the responsibility of teaching literacy;
  • be licensed within the state of Vermont;
  • not be a past recipient of the award.

The Vice President will coordinate a committee for this award. These nominations should be in the form of letters or testimonial statements which describe the candidate’s literacy practices and why the nominator considers these practices outstanding. These statements should not exceed two pages in length. Nomination materials must include contact information for both the person nominating as well as the nominee.  Email addresses are required.

The person making the nomination should send the materials digitally to the VCLBoard at   All nominations should be received by April 1. The award will be presented at the annual VCL Spring Conference.


Vermont Council on Literacy is here for you! Please spread the word :)

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