Outstanding English/L.A. Educator Awards

NJCTE is thrilled to announce that the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has awarded the 2018 High School Teacher of Excellence Award to Susan Chenelle from University Academy Charter High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. Chenelle is one of 14 high school teachers nationwide honored by NCTE this year.

Established in 2001 by the NCTE Secondary Section, this award recognizes and celebrates high school classroom teachers who demonstrate excellent practices and contributions in the classroom. Chenelle will be recognized as a recipient of the NCTE High School Teacher of Excellence Award at the Secondary Section Luncheon on Saturday, November 17, during the 2018 NCTE Annual Convention in Houston, Texas. For more information about the NCTE High School Teacher of Excellence Award, including past winners, see http://www2.ncte.org/high-school-teacher-of-excellence-affiliate-award.

Chenelle is currently Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at University Academy Charter High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she taught English and journalism for several years. She is the co-author of the Using Informational Text to Teach Literature series from Rowman & Littlefield with Audrey Fisch, with whom she has presented about informational text and cross-disciplinary collaboration at schools around New Jersey and conferences across the country. She earned her master’s degree in urban education from New Jersey City University, and she is now pursuing a doctoral degree at Montclair State University in Teacher Education and Teacher Development. Chenelle was the recipient of NJCTE’s 2017 Educator of the Year Award and currently serves on the NJCTE board.

We highly encourage English educators in New Jersey to nominate their colleagues for this award and to consider nominating early career and pre-service teachers for the M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award and the Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award (see below). Help us honor the excellent work of our colleagues in the field!

Educator of the Year 2018: William E. Hutnik

NJCTE is proud to announce that this year's Educator of the Year is William E. Hutnik.  He holds a BA in English from James Madison University and an MA in English from the College of New Jersey.


Mr. Hutnik's professional experience is wide-ranging.  He has studied and taught both in Tokuyama, Japan, and in Thorpe, England; much closer to home, he has prepared adult students pursuing their GED in Trenton.  But it is his work at the Pennington School for over twenty years that has won him the respect of so many students and colleagues.  His department chair, John Bouton, described him as a "most creative teacher," a teacher known for "designing collaborative lessons that inspire students to prize authentic self-expression and close reading of literature."  A former student, one who admitted to being at first uninterested in his class, elaborated on how "he went on a mission to change that." She praised him as a "deeply thoughtful teacher who will do anything to help his students succeed."


Mr. Hutnik has been a member of ETS evaluating teams, promoted from Reader to Table Leader to Question Leader over a three-year tenure; in addition, he has led and participated in a large number of workshops at high school and colleges throughout the state and published in the IATE Journal.  NJCTE is happy to recognize him as a model of professional excellence.



How to Nominate an Outstanding Teacher

Nominations and Self-Nominations

Each year the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English (NJCTE) recognizes an exceptional English/language arts educator -- a dedicated, innovative, dynamic educator whose activities have significantly and widely impacted New Jersey English language arts education. The selected educator becomes eligible as well for a coveted New Jersey Governor's Award in Arts Education.


Submit the name of a New Jersey pre-school to university teacher, supervisor, or administrator. Provide the opportunity for that special person to be added to the list of past recipients.


Completed applications must be submitted by November 30 of each year.

All nominations received remain viable for three (3) years.


Notification will occur no later than April 1 of each year.


Click below for an application form.

Please excuse us if any forms on this site have the wrong year.  Sometimes updating forms slips through the cracks, but the forms do not change.  They are identical each year!

NJCTE Educator Award Application
Click here for the proper edition. Disregard any date discrepancies.
Microsoft Word Document 18.1 KB

Previous Educator of the Year Award Recipients

Awards are given at the annual Spring Conference.

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

Early Teacher Awards

The NJCTE recognizes early career teachers with two awards:

The M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award
The Marcia Holtzman Pre-Service Teacher Award

You may nominate an outstanding early career teacher and/or encourage an outstanding early career teacher to apply.

Applications are due by February of each year.

We look forward to receiving your nominations and applications!


For more information about these awards, click below.  Please excuse any date discrepancies.  Our forms apply to each year.

M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Award
Nomination Form
Microsoft Word Document 37.3 KB
Marcia Holtzman Preservice Teacher Award
Nomination Form
Microsoft Word Document 18.4 KB

Previous Weiss and Holtzman Award Recipients

2016 M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award recipient:

Ellen Papazian. College of Saint Elizabeth.West Morris Central HS. Chester.

2016 Marcia Holzman Pre-service Teacher Award recipients:

Darcy Lucia. Rowan University. Woodlynne Elementary (Grades 6-8), Woodlynne.
Delight Penaverde-McKitrick. College of Saint Elizabeth, Holtzman Award. Whippany Park HS.



2015 M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award recipients:

Steven Criscuolo. iPrep Academy, Elizabeth.

Christopher Rodriguez.  Bloomfield HS.

Ann Marie Manso.  Weehawken HS.

2015 Marcia Holzman Pre-service Teacher Award recipients:

Sandra Croft.  Montclair State U.

Puneet Anand.  Montclair State U.


2014 M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award recipient:

Kristen Angelo. Union Catholic HS.

2014 Marcia Holzman Pre-service Teacher Award recipients: 

Rachel Berger.  Montclair State U.


2013 M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award recipients:

                    David Eisenberg.  English Teacher/School Librarian.

        Glen Meadow Middle School, Vernon Township.

Kathryn Fraser Whitely.  English Teacher.

         Saint Vincent Academy, Newark.

         Graduate Student, College of Saint Elizabeth

2013 Marcia Holzman Pre-service Teacher Award recipients:

Christopher Crowley.  Teacher's Aide.  Madison Junior   

             School,  Graduate Student,College of Saint Elizabeth

Victoria Viola.  The College of New Jersey

Guenevere Zucker.  Montclair State U


2012 M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award recipients:

Aimee Ambrose, Special Education Kindergarten Aide, Bloomfield

Elizabeth Dunn, Hightstown H.S.

Kathleen Tobin, Union Catholic H.S., Scotch Plains, NJ

2012 Marcia Holzman Pre-service Teacher Award recipients:

Megan Bolger, Montclair State U, Little Falls

Giuliana Cocilovo, Montclair State U, Caldwell

Daniela Maria Conte, TCNJ, Kinnelon

Steven Criscuolo, Montclair State U, Manalapan

Michaela Ensminger, TCNJ, Marlton

Lauren Fitzsimmons, TCNJ, Bound Brook

Allison Greer, TCNJ, Edison

Kelly Kosch, TCNJ, Brick

Amanda Rhea, TCNJ, Cherry Hill

Ashley Robinson, CSE, Somerville


2011 M. Jerry Weiss Early Career Teacher Award recipients:

Vanessa Rasmussen, Vineland HS.

Lisa Anne MacDonald, Rev. George A. Brown Memorial H.S., Sparta

Henry Baldwin, Bergenfield HS.

Kristine Mintel, Union Catholic HS., Scotch Plains

2011 Marcia Holzman Pre-service Teacher Award recipients:

            Jessica DeNizio, Black River M.S., Chester; College of St. Elizabeth

            Janine Sullivan, Governor Livingston HS., Berkeley Heights, College of                    St.  Elizabeth.