Ray H. Lawson Award

Ray Lawson graduated from Central State Teachers College (now Central Michigan University) in 1940. After his first year of teaching, he was inducted into the Army prior to Pearl Harbor. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, he taught English at Rochester High School for 63 years. Ray earned his Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and went on to do post-graduate work at Wayne State, Michigan State, and the University of Michigan. He became an Oakland Writing Project Fellow in 1982. To say that Ray was an active member of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English would be an understatement. He was a member for his entire teaching career, serving as Secretary/Treasurer of MCTE for a combined total of nearly 40 years.

Ray H. Lawson.

Image from Rochester Community Schools.

The Michigan Council of Teachers of English awards the Ray Lawson Award to an outstanding MCTE educator who has demonstrated leadership to the profession and is held in high esteem by colleagues and students.

To be considered for the award, the ideal nominee…

  • demonstrates excellence in the teaching of English or Language Arts K-12.
  • has a record of distinguished leadership at the local and the state level.
  • has earned high admiration from colleagues and students.
  • holds unique and effective perspectives on teaching English/Language Arts.
  • has a minimum of ten years of teaching experience K-12.

The nominator is responsible for submitting the nominee’s information and a brief statement describing why the nominee is deserving of the Ray Lawson Award.

Nominees may be recommended by colleagues from the local school district or an MCTE Representative. 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 for the Lawson Award.

Past Honorees

The MCTE introduced the Ray Lawson Award in 2002. Below are all past honorees.


2023-2024* Geryl Lobert, Chippewa Hills High School
2022 No honoree
2021 Anna J. Small Roseboro, Retired
2020 No honoree
2019 Jim Kroll, L’Anse Creuse High School-North
2018 Dawn Reed, Okemos High School
2017 Kevin Ozar, Farmington Public Schools STEAM Academy
2016 Renee Webster, Perry Elementary School
2015 Jeff Garver, Boyne Falls Public Schools
2014 Glen Young, Petoskey High School
2013 Andrew Schoenborn, Mount Pleasant High School
2012 Janice McGeorge, Ottawa Elementary School (Petoskey)
2011 Stasha A. Simon, Petoskey High School
2010 Davena Jackson, Southfield High School
2009 Dan Polleys, Boyne City High School
2008 Toby Kahn-Loftus, Michigan Schools in the Middle, CMU
2007 Kathy Vogel, Northview Public Schools
2006 Mary Cox, Detroit Public Schools
2005 Janice Schmidt, Dearborn Schools
2004 Nancy Elliot, Ubly High School
2003 Ron Iwankovitsch, Ubly High School
2002 Ray H. Lawson, Rochester Schools

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