Natalie Cantrell, an educator in the Alanson Public School District, has been chosen as one of the recipients of the 2023 Elementary School English Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE).

Natalie Cantrell’s educational journey began with the attainment of her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University. She furthered her academic pursuits by earning a master’s degree in education from Walden University. Cantrell embarked on her teaching career at Alanson Public Schools in 2003, where her passion for education led her to teach nearly every elementary grade. Presently, she serves as the K-12 behavior coach in Alanson. Her commitment to the field was acknowledged in 2018 when she was honored as an Outstanding Person in Education by the Michigan Education Association. Cantrell’s active involvement in her local union includes serving currently as the president of her local.

Upon learning of her selection as the Elementary School English Teacher of the Year, Cantrell expressed her profound gratitude, deeming it a true honor.

The MCTE Elementary English Teacher of the Year Award celebrates excellence in elementary literacy education. Nominees for this award exhibit a steadfast dedication to cultivating a nurturing and respectful learning environment that fosters effective teaching and learning. These educators employ diverse teaching methodologies and creative learning experiences to cater to the unique needs of all students. Their lessons are marked by innovation and delivered with a distinctive perspective on language arts instruction. Candidates for this award also contribute to the profession through leadership, presentations, or publications at the local, state, or national level.

Cantrell will serve as the Elementary 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