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NCTE Outstanding Middle Level Educator in the English Language Arts Award

2017 Award Winner: David Rockower

David RockowerDavid Rockower from The Delta Middle Level Program, State College, Pennsylvania, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Middle Level Educator in the English Language Arts Award.

David teaches classes that are mixed grade level 5-8 in a small, democratic, public school, where community and student voice are foundational. He holds a Masters degree in Library Media and Information Technology and has worked with each grade level throughout his 19 years in the profession.  

Learn more about David through his award narrative.

NCTE Annual ConventionThe award presentation will be held at the Middle Level Luncheon on Friday, November 17 during the NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.



Nomination Deadline:  May 1

Purpose:  To recognize exceptional English language arts teachers of grades 6-8 who have demonstrated excellence in teaching English language arts and inspired a spirit of inquiry and a love of learning in their students.

Eligibility:  Applicants should be full-time English language arts teachers of students in grades 6-8 ("full-time" is defined as that school district's standard number of contact hours with students) and have taught for at least five years in public or private school in the United States, its territories, or Canada. Applicants do not have to be a member of NCTE to apply and may be nominated by a supervisor or teaching peer who can provide credible evidence of achievements or be self-nominated.

Award Criteria:  Applicants should demonstrate exceptional abilities in these categories:

  • Fostering a spirit of inquiry and a love of learning
  • Utilizing scholarship from literature, writing, or other appropriate fields
  • Utilizing the twelve interrelated NCTE content standards
  • Participating in professional activities such as workshops, curriculum development, committees, other association activities, and the like.

Award Specifics:  The award recipient is presented a plaque at the Middle Level Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention.

Deadline:  Nomination materials must be received by May 1 and sent to or by postal mail to NCTE Outstanding Middle Level Educator Award, NCTE, 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096.

All nominations must contain the following items:

  • Nomination Cover Form—Answer all questions and include all signatures. Nominator must sign Nomination Cover Form.
  • Nominator Narrative—Not to exceed 5 pages (double-spaced). Nominator details examples of the nominee's exemplary English language arts teaching.
  • Nominee Narrative—Not to exceed 3 pages (double-spaced). Nominee details examples of his/her exemplary English language arts teaching.
  • Two Letters of Support—Each not to exceed one page. One letter must be from a parent or student and the other from a supervisor or teaching peer (other than the nominator).
  • Nominee's Teaching Schedule—A copy of the nominee’s schedule outlining teaching day/week. The information provided should be as detailed as possible to represent the nominee's responsibilities during the teaching day/week.
  • Nominee's professional résumé

Judging:  An award committee selected by the Middle Level Section Steering Committee determines the recipient from nomination applications submitted during the year. For full consideration, award applications must be postmarked no later than May 1. Middle Level Section Steering Committee members are not eligible for this award during their tenure.

Past Winners:

2016:  Kristine Shurina, Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School, Bridgewater, NJ
2015:  Sandra Kowalczyk, Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2014:  Fran H. Squires, Pine View School of Osprey, Florida
2013:  Brooke Eisenbach, Tomlin Middle School, Plant City, FL
2012:  Jason Griffith, Lamberton Middle School, Carlisle, PA
2011:  Susan Houser, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle, St. Petersburg, FL
2010:  Susan Harris, Elizabeth Cobb Middle School, Tallahassee, FL
2009:  Mike Roberts, Rowland Hall Middle School, Salt Lake City, UT
2008:  Deborah A. Peters, Northwestern Lehigh Middle School, New Tripoli, PA
2007:  Lori Atkins Goodson, Wamego Middle School, Wamego, KS
2006:  Jane Feber, Mandarin Middle School, Jacksonville, FL
2005:  Sheila Newell, Jane Long Middle School, Houston, TX
2004:  Barry Hoonan, Odyssey Multiage, Bainbridge Island, WA
2003:  Nancie Atwell, Center for Teaching and Learning, Edgecomb, ME
2002:  Cora Lee Five, Edgewood Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
2001:  Steven Layne, Butler Jr. High School, Oak Brook, IL
2000:  Linda Rief, Oyster River Middle School, Durham, NH
1999:  Elizabeth Close, Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland, NY
1998:  Rise Paynter, Binford Elementary School, Bloomington, IN


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