William Van Cleave, also known as William VanCleave or William Eugene Van Cleave, was a respected author, speaker, and trainer in the field of dyslexia education. He passed away on April 20, 2021, at the age of 52, after suffering a heart attack. His death was unexpected and shocking to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.
A Passion for Teaching and Learning
William Van Cleave was born on May 27, 1968, to Richard and Martha Van Cleave. He had a younger brother, Trey, who is also an educator. William grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended St. Francis School, where he developed a love for reading and writing. He graduated from Centre College in 1990, with a degree in English. He later earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Louisville.
William began his teaching career in 1991, at the de Paul School, a private school for students with learning differences in Louisville. He taught language arts and social studies for nine years, and also served as the curriculum coordinator and the director of professional development. He then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he taught at Currey Ingram Academy, another school for students with learning differences, for four years.
In 2004, William decided to pursue his passion for teaching and learning as an independent educational consultant. He founded W.V.C. ED, a company that provides professional development, curriculum design, and instructional coaching for educators, schools, and districts. He specialized in the areas of morphology, written expression, and multisensory instruction. He was also a certified instructor of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE), a professional organization that promotes the use of the Orton-Gillingham approach, a structured, sequential, and multisensory method of teaching reading and writing to students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.
A Legacy of Impact and Inspiration
William Van Cleave was a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of dyslexia education. He authored several books and materials, such as Writing Matters, Everything You Want to Know and Exactly Where to Find It, and Keys to Literacy. He also created online courses, webinars, and podcasts, such as The Morphology Minute and The Writing Revolution. He was a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops, such as the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), and the Everyone Reading Conference. He traveled to many states and countries, such as Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, to share his knowledge and skills with educators, parents, and students.
William Van Cleave’s impact and inspiration were immense and far-reaching. He touched the lives of thousands of people, who benefited from his wisdom, humor, and generosity. He was a mentor, a colleague, a friend, and a role model to many. He was a devoted son, brother, uncle, and godfather to his family. He was a passionate advocate, a lifelong learner, and a visionary leader in his field. He was William Van Cleave, and he will be remembered.