Leadership Team

Will Banks, Director

Will Banks is Associate Professor of English at East Carolina University where he serves as Director of the University Writing Program in addition to his work as Director of the Tar River Writing Project. Will has been a member of the National Writing Project since his first Summer Institute in 1998 (Georgia Southern Writing Project).  While in graduate school, Will worked as Technology Liaison for the Illinois State Writing Project, and took on various responsibilities with the NWP on a programmatic level.  These include serving for 8 years as an E-Team member for the NWP E-Anthology, 3 years as a facilitator at the NWP Tech Matters Institute (Marshall University WP), and 3 years as a facilitator for the Writing and Technology writing retreat each summer in Nebraska.  Currently, in addition to working with the TRWP, Will continues to serve on leadership committees with the NWP.



Jennifer Sharpe, Associate Director / K-12 Liaison

Jennifer Sharpe, Academic Coach for Secondary Schools with Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, has 15 years experience in education.  After earning a BA in English Education from Barton College, Jennifer went on to teach either English or English as a Second Language (ESL) at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels.  She holds a NC Teaching License in English and ESL, and National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood English Language Arts.   Jennifer joined the Tar River Writing Project as a participant in the inaugural summer institute.  Supporting teachers through quality staff development is a priority for her.  She has presented at conferences and delivered in-service training with several organizations including Teach For America.  Currently, Jennifer is completing an MA in School Administration through NC State University, and completing requirements for an MA in English at East Carolina University.  Her research interests include high school writing centers, creating and sustaining writing communities in public schools, and the impact of distributive leadership on student achievement.


Stephanie West-Puckett, Associate Director / Community Liaison

Stephanie is a Teaching Instructor in the Department of English at East Carolina University and has over a decade of experience teaching and working with writers of all ages and experience levels.  With an MA in English, a concentration in Creative Writing, coursework in Technical and Professional Writing, and a passion for outreach, Stephanie joined the leadership team in February 2011 and looks forward to continuing to build educational partnerships and professional learning networks in Eastern NC.  Since 2008, she has Co-directed the Leadership for Equity, Excellence, Achievement and Partnership (LEEAP) Team and facilitated professional development institutes that support  teacher-inquiry as a means to increasing student achievement by addressing issues of race, class, equity, and educational justice in Eastern NC.  In addition, her research interests include first-year composition, service-learning as a writing pedagogy, digital writing and citizenship, and reading and writing across the curriculum.  She is also on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina English Teachers Association.