- Ed.D. in English education, Virginia Tech
- M.A. in English, University of Virginia
- B.A. in English, Hollins College
Teaching of secondary English, particularly classic literature, young adult literature and writing; applied English linguistics; classroom discourse; adolescent literacy; American secondary education
- Received the David H. Russell Award (National Council of Teachers of English) and the James N. Britton Award for Educational Research (Conference on English Education) for Retracing the Journey: Teaching and Learning in an American High School (Teachers College Press) in 2008
- Received the Edward B. Fry Book Award (National Reading Conference) for Handbook of Adolescent Literacy Research (Guilford Press) in 2009
- Served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English from 2001-02
- Received the University Award of Excellence from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 — the first woman professor to be so honored
- “Speaking My Mind: Turn the Page.” English Journal, Vol. 106, No. 3, January 2017, 107-110.
- Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Teacher of English Language Arts. Fourth Edition. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2016.
- “Is It Endgame for Teacher Preparation in U.S. Universities?,” International Perspectives on Teaching English in a Globalised World, Andrew Goodwyn, Louann Reid and Cal Durrant, editors. London: Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2014, 168-177.
- “The Flexible Teacher.” Educational Leadership, Vol. 68, No. 4, December 2010-January 2011, 46-50.
- “Introduction: The National Council of Teachers of English and the Shaping of American Literacy Education.” Reading the Past, Writing the Future: A Century of American Literacy Education and the National Council of Teachers of English, Erika Lindemann, editor. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2010, 1-52.
- "It's Not as Simple as It Seems: Doing Honest Academic Work in an Age of Point and Click." Knowledge Quest, Vol. 37, No. 3, January/February 2009, 16-23.
- "What Should Go Into A Teaching Degree?" All Things Considered, National Public Radio, Sept. 30, 2009. (Listen to the broadcast [MP3])
Dr. Leila Christenbury is Commonwealth Professor of English Education at VCU, and immediate past interim dean of the School of Education. The former co-editor of The ALAN Review and the former editor of English Journal, she is the author of numerous chapters and articles on the teaching of English as well as 10 books, including Handbook on Adolescent Literacy Research, winner of the National Reading Conference Edward B. Fry Book Award, and the fourth edition of Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Teacher of English Language Arts.
Her book, Retracing the Journey: Teaching and Learning in an American High School, details her return to the high school classroom and was the recipient of both the Conference on English Education James N. Britton Award for Educational Research and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in Teaching.
A past president of NCTE, Dr. Christenbury is the recipient of NCTE’s Distinguished Service Award and served for nine years as the NCTE historian. As historian, she was the principal organizer of NCTE’s 2011 centennial and helped create a website, historical film, organizational history, centennial conference and centennial issues of numerous NCTE professional journals.
A frequent speaker across the country on issues of English teaching and learning, Christenbury has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, CNN, and, among others, in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and U.S. News & World Report.