The Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) is pleased to announce Hawanya Urquhart, a dedicated educator at Liberty Middle School in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, is the recipient of the 2023 Middle School English Teacher of the Year Award.

The MCTE Middle School English Teacher of the Year Award is a testament to Urquhart’s unwavering commitment to the field of education. Recognizing excellence in middle school English education, this honor is bestowed upon individuals who exhibit outstanding dedication to fostering a nurturing and effective learning environment for students while demonstrating innovation, leadership, and service to the profession.

Urquhart boasts an impressive 25-year career in education, spanning across private, public, and public charter schools. Since 2010, she has been a member of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools District, where she currently serves as an eighth-grade English Language Arts teacher at Liberty Middle School.

Urquhart is passionate about fostering literacy and amplifying the voices of young people. She has brought that passion to her classroom through innovative initiatives like book tastings, engaging literacy nights, thought-provoking African-American Read-Ins, and courses such as “Exploring Social Justice Through Literature.” Beyond her classroom, Urquhart actively fosters a district-wide book club for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and leads a Project LIT book club in her local neighborhood.

Upon learning of her selection for this award, Urquhart expressed her gratitude, stating, “I can’t believe it! My work in education has always centered around what is best for kids. I am truly humbled that others have recognized it.”

Hawanya Urquhart will serve as the Middle School English Teacher of the Year for the current school year and will be celebrated at the spring conference of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English in March 2024.

About MCTE:

Established in 1922, the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) serves as the state affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English, uniting K-16 English language arts educators. MCTE is dedicated to offering professional development opportunities to English language arts teachers and English education professors throughout Michigan. The organization’s objectives include the dissemination of current English education scholarship and providing valuable support to English language arts teachers as they navigate pedagogical practices, student needs, and teaching philosophies. To learn more about MCTE, visit their website at