English Teacher Awards


The WNYNET English Teacher Awards recognize English educators in the Buffalo-Niagara region who have shown a commitment to the young people of our region through the meaningful teaching of English Language Arts in grades 7-12.  

  -  The New and Early Career English Teacher Award is given to an educator that has taught 7-12 English for 1-5 years. Recipients of this award are developing as leaders in their departments and schools. They engage in meaningful, reflective practice within their classroom and work to connect teaching to their students’ lived experiences. They incorporate new technology and current research in the field to significantly enhance student engagement.

  -  The Mid-Career English Teacher Award is given to an educator that has taught 7-12 English for 6-20 years. Recipients of this award demonstrate the same commitments as above while also assuming leadership roles in their districts and Western New York through the mentoring of new and pre-service teachers, their engagement in local, regional, and national professional networks (such as WNYNET, NYSEC, NCTE) and in other capacities that support and encourage meaningful teaching in our region.

  -  The Lifetime Achievement in English Teaching Sponsored by Just Buffalo Literary Center is given to an educator that has taught 7-12 English for over 20 years. Recipients of this award have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the meaningful teaching of English Language Arts throughout their careers. In addition to the above, these teachers have served as leaders in their communities, worked for many years as mentor teachers, and have continued to develop their understanding and advocacy for meaningful English teaching in our region, state, and country.  

  -  The Administrative Leadership in Support of English Language Arts Award is given to building and district administrators who have supported the meaningful teaching of English Language Arts in their schools and/or districts.

Who can nominate an educator? 

Anyone can nominate an educator. This includes colleagues, parents, administrators, pre-service teachers, educational professionals, or any member of the community. 

Nominations will be reviewed by the Western New York English Teachers officers according to the standards set forth by the organization.

How does WNYNET define meaningful teaching in the English Language Arts classroom?

To define what constitutes meaningful English teaching, The Western New York Network of English teachers draws from standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of English as well as leading researchers and teachers in the field of secondary English education.

While meaningful teaching can be described in many ways, the following characteristics may be helpful in determining potential award recipients. Teachers that may qualify for these awards are teachers who:

Nominate an Educator for the 2023 awards

To nominate an educator please use this form. Nominations are due February 6th, 2023

Past Winners

2016 WNYNET English Teacher Awards

Dr. Wendy Paterson, Lifetime Achievement Award

Chelsey Nabozny, First Year Teacher

Amanda Thompson, Early Career Teacher 

Kristen Pastore-Capuana, Experienced Teacher

JoAnn Wiatrowski, Lifetime Achievement

James Mule, Administrative Leadership

2017 WNYNET English Teacher Awards

Felice Brandy, New Teacher 

Natalie Schnorr, Early Career Teacher

Paul Endres, Experienced Teacher 

Tom O’Malley, Lifetime Achievement 

Dr. Michael Gruber. Administrative Award 

2018 WNYNET English Teacher Awards

Regina Derrico, Lifetime Achievement 

Colleen Duggan, Administrative Leadership

Petrina Scaglione, New Teacher

Angela Waligora, Early Career Teacher

Liz Lyons, Experienced Teacher

2019 WNYNET English Teacher Awards

William O'Neil-White, New Teacher & Early Career

Gary Terhune, Experienced Teacher 

Pamela Fordham, Lifetime Achievement

Gretchen Cercone, Administrative Leadership