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Teacher Awards

We encourage English educators in New Jersey to nominate their colleagues for the Educator of the Year, the M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award, and the Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award

Educator of the Year Award

The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English (NJCTE) recognizes one exceptional and experienced English/Language Arts educator-- a dedicated, innovative, dynamic Pre-K-12 teacher, university teacher, supervisor, or administrator-- whose activities have significantly and widely impacted New Jersey English/Language Arts education. The selected educator also becomes eligible for nomination by NJCTE for a New Jersey Governor's Award in Arts Education and, if appropriate, for the NCTE High School Teacher of Excellence award and/or Outstanding Middle School Educator Award.

M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award

The M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award is for early career teachers working at the elementary, middle, or high school levels. Dr. M. Jerry Weiss, Distinguished Service Professor of Communications Emeritus at New Jersey City University, has had an important influence on literacy in New Jersey, as well as the larger United States. A nationally recognized expert in the field of children’s and adolescent literature and a pioneer in the area of Whole Language, Dr. Weiss taught at New Jersey City University for 33 years before retiring in 1994.

To qualify for this award, candidates should be teaching one to five years. 

Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award

The Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award is for pre-service teachers aiming to work at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Marcia Holtzman is a retired assistant superintendent of the Metuchen school system and an active NJCTE member. She has created a "writer's room" at the Edgar School, enlisting the help of parent volunteers as coaches. The group publishes "Metuchen Musings," a journal of original writings. Students, teachers, and undergraduate and graduate college students enrolled in teacher education programs, and preservice educators seeking employment qualify. Since the spirit of the award is one of encouraging professional longevity, more than one nominee may be selected for this award. 

Past Winners

Educator of the Year Recipients

2020: Dr. Darlene Russell, William Paterson University

2017:  Susan Chenelle, University Acad. Charter HS, Jersey City

2016:  Heather D. Rocco, School District of the Chathams

2015:  Stephen Chiger, North Star Academy, Newark

2014:  Sarah Mulhern Gross, Technology HS, Lincroft 

2013:  Jennifer Ansbach, MA, Manchester Township HS

2012:  Dr. Laura Nicosia, PhD, Montclair State University

2011:   Dr. Liz deBeer, Point Pleasant Beach HS

2008:  Dr. Patricia Schall, College of Saint Elizabeth

2007:  Edie Weinthal, Pascack Valley

2006:  Julie Cheville, Rutgers U

2005:  Joseph Pizzo, Black River MS, Chester

2004:  Susan Canter, Campbell ES/Edgar MS, Metuchen

2003:  Eileen Dachnowicz, Cranford HS

2002:  Marcia Holtzman, Metuchen Public Schools

2001:  Nancy Gorrell, Morristown HS 

2000: Bettye Spinner, Moorestown HS

1999:  Lynn F. Carhart, Monmouth Regional HS, Tinton Falls

1997:  Donna Clovis, Princeton Elementary

1996:  Maria Schantz, Montclair State U

1995:  Herman Estrin, NJ Institute of Technology

1994:  Alfred Weiss, Eastside HS, Paterson

1993:  Muriel Becker, Montclair State U

1987:  Adele Stern, Paramus HS

1981:  Janet Emig, Rutgers U

M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Recipients

2020: Angela Lengner 

2018: Bridget O'Neill, Lisa Sambula, Samantha Shane, Nimisha Patel

2016: Ellen Papazian

2015: Steven Criscuolo, Christopher Rodriguez, Ann Marie Manso

2014: Kristen Angelo

2013: David Eisenberg, Kathryn Fraser Whitely

2012: Aimee Ambrose, Elizabeth Dunn, Kathleen Tobin

2011: Vanessa Rasmussen, Lisa Anne MacDonald, Henry Baldwin, Kristine Mintel

Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Recipients:

2018: Evan Dickerson

2017: Darcy Lucia, Delight Penaverde-McKitrick


2015: Sandra Croft, Puneet Anand

2014: Rachel Berger

2013: Christopher Crowley, Victoria Viola, Guenevere Zuker

2012: Megan Bolger, Giuliana Cocilovo, Daniela Maria Conte, Steven Criscuolo, Michaela Ensminger, Lauren Fitzsimmons, Allison Greer, Kelly Kosch, Amanda Rhea, Ashley Robinson 

2011: Jessica DeNizio, Janine Sullivan 

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