High School English Teacher of the Year Award

The Michigan Council of Teachers of English High School Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding high-school English educator.

To be considered for the award, the ideal nominee…

  • is properly certified and currently teaching ELA in a private, public, or charter secondary school (9-12) in the state of Michigan.
  • has taught for at least 5 years OR has an established body of work in education.
  • is a role model and an inspiration to the education community.
  • demonstrates strong ability to foster excellence in ELA education.
  • connects learning to student interests and to their lives beyond the classroom.
  • utilizes a variety of teaching methodologies and plans innovative learning experiences to meet the needs of all students.
  • demonstrates a strong commitment to creating a caring and respectful climate conducive to effective teaching and learning.
  • has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues and students.
  • demonstrates a thorough understanding of curriculum, including assessment and evaluation practices.
  • is committed to his/her own professional development to enhance teaching excellence and 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 High School 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. The National Council of Teachers of English will also recognize the honoree as a High School Teacher of Excellence at their annual fall conference during the secondary luncheon.


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

Past Honorees

The MCTE introduced the Secondary English Teacher of the Year Award in 2004. Below are all past honorees.


2023-2024* Natalie Popadich, Grand Blanc High School
2022 Janice Rowley, Detroit Renaissance High School
2021 Jeff Garver, Boyne Falls Public School; Bradley Stabler, Pontiac High School
2020 No honoree
2019 Kathleen Tighe, Caseville Public School
2018 Jessyca Mathews, Carman-Ainsworth High School
2017 Geryl Lobert, Chippewa Hills High School
2016 David Theune, Spring Lake High School
2015 Sandy Safford, Cheboygan High School
2014 Mitch Nobis, Birmingham Public Schools
2013 Danielle Marsh, Shepperd Public Schools
2012 Jared Morningstar, Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
2011 John Rutherford, W.E. Groves High School, Beverly Hills, MI
2010 Therese Petrongelli, Harrison High School, Harrison, MI
2009 No award
2008 Stasha Simon, Petoskey High School, Petoskey Public Schools
2007 Mary Cecilia Cox, Renaissance High School, Detroit, MI
2006 Janice Schmidt, Dearborn Public Schools, Dearborn, MI
2005 Nancy Orr Elliott, Ubly High School, Ubly, MI
2004 Ronald Iwankovitsch, Ubly High School, Ubly, MI

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