With the discontinuation of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, MCTE has retired the Touchstone Award. Here you will find a description of this award and a list of past honorees.

The Touchstone Award

The Touchstone Award for Michigan’s Creative Writing High School Teacher of the Year was given in association with the Michigan Youth Arts Creative Writing Program and was MCTE’s way of recognizing Creative Writing teachers at the high school level.

Nomination Criteria (as used from 2010 to 2020)

  • Nominees are teachers who are “advocates in arts education who endow Michigan’s children with a lifelong capacity for innovation.”
  • Nominees should also have “a record of advocacy for arts programs, dedication to bringing out the very best in their students, and a continued commitment to artistic excellence.”
  • Nominees should be actively teaching Creative Writing at the high school level and should be members of MCTE.
  • Although participation in the Michigan Youth Arts Creative Writing Program is not required, it may be used to identify those who are teaching creative writing and encouraging students to share their work.

The Touchstone Award recipient was announced in late March each year and was honored at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in May. The Touchstone Award recipient was also a candidate for Michigan Teacher of the Year.


Past Honorees

Below are past honorees for the MCTE MYAF Touchstone Award.


2020 Jeff Garver, Boyne Falls School
2019 Kelly Wilson, Lakeview High School, Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District
2018 Kitty Reifert, L’Anse Creuse High School – North
2017 Kevin English, Wayne Memorial High School
2016 Peter Shaheen, Seaholm High School
2015 Nancy Nott, Portage Northern High School
2014 Nancy Hascall, Allegan High School
2013 Jan Mordenski, Mercy High School
2012 Jared Morningstar, Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
2011 John Rutherford, Wylie E. Groves High School
2010 Therese Petrongelli, Harrison High School, Harrison, MI