Recently retired professor Deirdre Kramer has been awarded the prestigious Harold B. Allen Award in recognition of her career's work in English as a Second Language (ESL) education by Minnesota Teachers of English as a Second Language (MinneTESOL), the professional organization for ESL teachers in Minnesota. While working for the Minneapolis Public Schools, Kramer was a cofounder of MinneTESOL, and headed up the committee to write the original licensure rule for ESL in Minnesota. Her work helped to establish ESL teaching as a profession in Minnesota.
Kramer was hired by Hamline University to start its ESL licensure program. With her support, the program has received national recognition from TESOL, and has added options for teachers of adults and teachers of English who work overseas. After stepping down as dean of the Hamline's graduate School of Education, Kramer returned to the faculty and continues to spend a great deal of time helping mainstream teachers who work with English language learners. Kramer believes that the success of English language learners depends on ESL professionals helping mainstream teachers learn to manage their students' language development, and her work in retirement is helping teachers all over Minnesota and beyond accept that responsibility.