Elementary English Teacher of the Year

The Michigan Council of Teachers of English Elementary Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding literacy educator who teaches in kindergarten through fifth grades.

To be considered for the award, the ideal nominee…

  • demonstrates a strong commitment to creating a caring and respectful climate conducive to effective teaching and learning.
  • utilizes a variety of teaching methodologies and plans innovative learning experiences to meet the needs of all students.
  • shows originality and unique perspectives in the teaching of language arts.
  • has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues and students.
  • has taught for at least 5 years OR has an established body of work in education.
  • provides service to the profession at the local, state, or national level through leadership, presentations, or publications.

The nominator is responsible for submitting the nominee’s information and a brief statement describing why the nominee is deserving of the Elementary English Teacher of the Year Award.

Nominees may be recommended by colleagues from the local school district or a member of MCTE. Before submitting a nomination, please check the requirements for the award.

Nominees will be contacted by section chairs once the nomination window closes to request additional award materials.

Recipients will be recognized at MCTE’s spring conference.

Click here to nominate a colleague today for the Elementary Teacher of the Year Award.


Past Honorees

The MCTE introduced the Elementary English Teacher of the Year Award in 2012. Below are all past honorees.


2023-2024* Natalie Cantrell, Alanson Public Schools

Frances Smith, Washington-Parks Academy

2022 No honoree
2021 Nina Chacker, Bunche Preparatory Academy
2020 No honoree
2019 Emily Hoekstra, Ottawa Elementary School, Petoskey
2018 Heather Jensen, Hillside Elementary School
2017 Christopher Working, Grand Haven Area Public Schools
2016 Elena Waugh, Bath Elementary School
2015 Jill Hoort, Central Elementary School, Okemos
2014 Jeanne Chatel Tate, Alanson Public Schools
2013 Jenny M. Lee, Williams Elementary, Jonesville Public Schools
2012 Suzanne E. Nayback, Central Elementary School, Petoskey Public Schools

* Beginning in 2023, honorees hold their award designation for the school year.