Jeannie Steele is a professor of literacy education at the University of Northern Iowa where she was awarded the Iowa Board of Regents Award for faculty excellence. Formerly a classroom teacher for over 20 years, she then served as consultant for educational reform for school districts in the U.S and is Past President of the Virginia State Reading Association. She received a Ph.D. from The University of Virginia in 1985. In more recent years, Jeannie has worked on international educational reform and is internationally respected for her work in teacher professional development. Along with Kurt Meredith, she co-founded the Orava Association for Democratic Education, the largest self-governing NGO in the Republic of Slovakia and is dedicated to the professional development of teachers. While living in Slovakia, she received the Order of St. Gorazd, the highest civilian award for meritorious service to Slovak education. She also received UNESCO recognition as co-author of the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) as one of 25 practices world-wide recommended for crisis prevention and peace building.