Michael C. McKenna (Inducted 2016)

University of Virginia, Curry School of Education

Curriculum Vitae: 


 Dr. Michael McKenna of Savannah, Georgia and Charlottesville, Virginia, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of December 14, 2016,after a very brief and unexpected illness. He was 69. His appointment in 2005 as the Thomas J. Jewel Professor of Reading at the University of Virginia reflects his stature in the field as an accomplished scholar. He received the Albert J. Kingston Award, the Edward Fry Book Award and the American Library Association Award for Outstanding Academic Books. In 2016 he was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. His work was also creative and innovative, most notably in his collaboration with Jim Davis, who originated the character Garfield, to develop the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. His most recent innovation for practice is the Bookworm curriculum for reading instruction. Mike will also be greatly missed by those who knew him on a personal level and worked closely with him professionally. He was a devoted mentor of graduate students and took great pride in their work. He was humble, never seeking the limelight, perceptive, and he had a subtle wit. He rarely showed disapproval or engaged in pointed criticism. When he agreed with others who did, his reaction was little more than a raised eyebrow, a tilt of his head, and maybe a witty remark that softened matters. Mike enjoyed traveling, writing poems, and listening to classical music. Mike was an Eagle Scout and was a Boy Scout Troop Leader with both Troop 7 and Troop 30. He especially enjoyed attending campouts with his two sons. Mike was a member of the Pilot Club of Chatham County, a service organization whose mission is to influence positive change in communities throughout the world. Mike was always willing to contribute to both projects and fundraisers. He attended several Pilot Club International Conferences. Mike was a member of White Bluff Presbyterian Church. He served as deacon and was an elementary Sunday school teacher. He had a strong faith and often attended Westminster Presbyterian Church when in Charlottesville.