Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading Empowering educators and creating star readers since 1947


TAIR – A Proud Heritage and A Promising Future

In November, 1946, the annual meeting of Texas State Teacher’s Association convened with some 10,000 teachers and administrators in attendance. Of those 10,000 teachers, only 20 attended the Reading Sectional meeting.  In order to address the apparent indifference and apathy of Texas teachers concerning the pressing problems in teaching children to read, these 20 teachers banded together and elected Jewel Askew chairperson. They charged Ms. Askew with planning a program to attract teachers to the TSTA Reading Sectional meeting.

Cognizant of the fact that teachers of reading throughout the state needed an organization which would provide an opportunity for them to hear outstanding people in the field of reading, Jewel Askew become acquainted with current research, materials, and people to share successful instructional strategies at the sectional meeting

In 1947, 100 people were identified as reading leaders by Superintendents of every school system in the state with 500 or more students. These people agreed to undertake leadership roles at the next conference by being discussion leaders, consultants, or recorders during the Reading Sectional meeting.

On November 25, 1948, these same 100 participants met in Dallas, Texas, during the Business Sectional meeting to discuss the seriousness of the problem they faced in trying to improve reading programs in the schools across the state.  This problem was presented from the conference platform the next morning, and a motion was made that a reading association be organized.  The audience members who were willing to support such an organization through membership dues were asked to drop their names and one dollar into a hat.  375 people responded and became the charter members of the present Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading (TAIR).

The First Annual Conference of Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading was held on the campus of Sul Ross State College in Alpine, Texas, in November 1949.  The goal was set to provide a reading conference that cost no more than $50 and was within 200 miles of every teacher in the state.

Sul Ross University also hosted the second TAIR Conference, with the University of Houston, Texas Southern University and West Texas State University joining Sul Ross in offering TAIR conferences by 1952, and Pan American University and Southern Methodist University in 1953.  By 1970, TAIR Conferences were offered across the state on 13 different campuses.

TAIR conferences continue to serve Texas educators by offering the opportunity to hear speakers relate the latest research in reading methodology and reading assessment, authors of children’s literature speak on the process of writing, and Texas teachers present the effective strategies used in their classrooms.

The initial goal of the charter membership of TAIR to hold a reading conference within reach of every teacher has been achieved. Because of the support of outstanding teachers and administrators and the dynamic leadership at both the state and local levels, TAIR will continue its mission to teach all children of Texas to read.  TAIR – a proud heritage, a meaningful present, a promising future.


Past Presidents

1948        Francis Thorpe Masterson, Wharton
1949        Josephine Linn, Alpine
1950        Mina Lee Mitchell, Dallas
1952        Louise Orr, Amarillo
1952        Sheila Roach, Andrews
1953        Troy Case, Baytown
1954        Artie Mae Burkett, Haskell
1955        Jewell Askew, Houston
1956        Belma Meeker, Dallas
1957        Edna Miller, Corpus Christi
1958        Bennett Cooksey, Longview
1959        Evelyn Thompson, Houston
1960        Hazel Strickland, Odessa
1961        Trula Maud Jetton, Lubbock
1962        Marie Clark, Amarillo
1963        Hazel Horn Carroll, Dallas
1964        Marjorie Martin, Corpus Christi
1965        Kate Bell, Houston
1966        Grady Coates, Pine Tree-Longview
1967        Rachel Maxey
1968        Maurine Walker, San Angelo
1969        Margaret Grogan, Beaumont
1970        Margaret Grogan, Beaumont
1971        Hazel Saunderman, Canyon
1972        John T. Thornton, Nacogdoches
1973        Mildred Ardia, Austin
1974        James Wylie, Waco
1975        Virginia Davis, Edinburg
1976        Bonnie McCullough, Lubbock
1977        Kenneth D. Black, Aldine
1978        Frances R. Middleton, Dallas
1979        Carl Pride, Canyon
1980        Eleanor Dugger, Austin
1981        Myrtle Richardson, Orange
1982        Beverly S. Young, Nacogdoches
1983        Lester G. Butler, Lubbock
1984        Lester G. Butler, Lubbock
1985        Ralph Brown, Wichita Fallas
1986        Janice Mumford, Dallas
1987        Susan Y. Paynter, Waco
1988        C. Ann Terry, Waco
1989        Pat Simpson, Lubbock
1990        Graciela Farias, McAllen
1991         Hellon Wilbur, Canyon
1992        Conchis Silva, Dallas
1993        Elvia Rodriguez, Nacogdoches
1994        Geraldine Haggard, Plano
1995        Al Tucker, Alpine
1996        Andrea Karlin, Beaumont
1997        Michael Sampson, Commerce
1998        Linda Ellis, Nacogdoches
1999        Mark Lukert, Wichita Falls
2000        Mark Lukert, Wichita Falls
2001        Nancy Conners, Dallas
2002        Nancy Conners, Dallas
2003        Margaret Hill, Clear Lake
2004        Margaret Hill, Clear Lake
2005        Randy Wood, Waco
2006        Randy Wood, Waco
2007        Cathy Davis, Austin
2008        Cathy Davis, Austin
2009        Lillian McEnery, Clear Lake
2010        Lillian McEnery, Clear Lake
2011         Leslie Patterson
2012         Leslie Patterson
2013         Kathy Stephens
2014         Kathy Stephens
2015         Margaret Thomson
2016         Margaret Thomson
2017         Carol Revelle
2018         Carol Revelle