Lynne Dozier’s career in education and English language arts is impressive but what’s most striking is her life’s dedication to providing opportunities to students. For thirty years, Dozier taught English language arts, creative and practical writing, and Advanced Placement (AP) language and composition at Klein Forest High School in Klein Independent School District, Houston, Texas. She taught a countless number of young adults – including Gavin Daniels, Wingate Hughes founding co-principal – and humbly accepts no responsibility for any of her students’ successes. She does acknowledge, though, that if students are given options, they can do anything.
Dozier, with her sweet Texas accent, will firmly tell anyone who asks that she has not taught one child to write. Instead she says, “I gave young people the opportunity to develop their writing talents, the permission to try and the time to practice.” One of these opportunities was Aquilae Stilus, a literary magazine she sponsored and founded in 1994 at Klein Forest High. She hoped to make writing and publishing accessible to all students in the culturally diverse school — 54 different countries were represented among the student body, and almost 15% of the students were economically disadvantaged. Despite financial hurdles, and typical worries of teenage apathy, the publication was a hit. In the first year almost 500 manuscripts and 250 pieces of artwork and photography were submitted.
Aquilae Stilus was open to all, and it was cool to be part of the magazine. Wingate Hughes’ Daniels was Assistant Editor of the publication. Looking back, he proudly recalls to his staff that Aquilae Stilus was where he learned to work harder than most, not settle for standard … anything, and always have high expectations. Aquilae Stilus also did more than teach students to write and edit. The publication was completely student run, and all involved learned how to manage a business. Dozier let the publication’s school office be a place for her students to find their way, and so they did. “All of my students now write to earn a living, even if they do not earn a living as a writer.”
Dozier retired in 2011 and published a compilation of her life’s work and lessons in The Writer’s Voice: Lessons in Language and Composition. The online book (available on Apple and Amazon) is the complete guide to technical, literary, academic and personal writing and contains information about the English language, test taking strategies, ways to develop vocabulary and the importance of reading and self-evaluation in developing a writer’s style. Most importantly, The Writer’s Voice includes examples from her students over her 30-year teaching career. “My student’s moments are not my rock moments but they are lessons.”
The Writer’s Voice is currently fourth on the iBookstore shelf in the textbook category. Learn more about Dozier’s career here.