The Maine Council for English Language Arts (MCELA) awarded its 4th annual Claudette and John Brassil Distinguished Educator Award, in honor of the contributions of the two long-time educators who have inspired students and mentored teachers for over eighty combined years in Maine public schools. MCELA is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The Brassil Distinguished Educator award is usually presented annually at the MCELA Conference in March (tentatively scheduled to be an in-person conference in Portland), but the award has been delayed since 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Brassil Award recognizes exceptional English language arts and literacy teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed to the profession, and shown a commitment to the community. In the past, this distinguished educator award was given to one high school teacher each year (2020 Patti Forster of Camden Hills Regional High School, 2019 Stephanie Hendrix of Bangor High School, and 2018 Johnna Stanton of Morse High school). This year the Executive Board decided to award and celebrate both a middle and a high school teacher.
The finalists for the high school Claudette and John Brassil Distinguished Educator Award for 2022 include Beth Carlson of Kennebunk High School, Sara Cole of Camden Hills Regional High School, and Audrey Ennamorati of Medomak Valley High School.
The distinguished high school English educator award for 2022 goes to Audrey Ennamorati, a 23-year educator at MVHS who currently teaches AP English Literature & Composition, AP English Language & Composition British & American Literature, Freshman English, College Composition dual enrollment with Thomas College, Writing Center, Literary Magazine, and Creative Writing. Ennamorati also developed numerous independent study courses to meet the academic needs of both advanced and struggling students, such as Literary Masterpieces, Social Justice Through Literature, Advanced Writing and English Language and Literature. Additionally, Ennamorati has taught writing-intensive courses part-time at the University of Southern Maine for 12 years and is currently an adjunct for the University of Maine-August (in Rockland) teaching College Writing, and occasionally Creative Writing and Creative Nonfiction. Ennamorati claims she has a special formula for inspiring students of all backgrounds and abilities: “(1) tapping into students’ needs/interests and (2) challenging them beyond their expectations. I learned early on in my high school teaching career that part of exercising these strengths with students means being genuine and creative at the same time.” Ennamorati’s nominator, Principal Linda Pease shared respect for Ennamorati’s “thoughtful and logical contributions” and her “positive influence on the climate of the school.”
The finalists for the middle school Claudette and John Brassil Distinguished Educator Award for 2022 include Todd McKinley of J.A. Leonard Middle School, Nicole Matthews of Windsor Elementary School, Meghan Rounds of Gorham Middle School, and Margaret “Maggie” Adams of Kingfield Elementary School.
The distinguished middle school English educator award for 2022 goes to Maggie Adams, an 18-year educator who currently teaches grades 5-8 English at Kingfield Elementary School. Adams coordinated and developed the Girls Talk/Teen Voices mentor program bringing community women together with female students for literary discussions and activities for Phillips and then Kingfield Elementary School. She is also a public speaking coach for the Kingfield school (2012-present) and has provided enriching extracurricular opportunities such as Poetry Slams, One Book/ One School/ One Community events, organizing visits from authors, storytellers, and illustrators, and advising various clubs. In addition, Adams served as the Mt. Abram Teacher’s Association during the pandemic. Beyond her school, Adams has been a 3-time speaker for the Holocaust and Human Rights Center (HHRC) representing the perspective of a Mi’kmaq teacher and former Maine student, explaining the integration of the Social Justice curriculum in the classroom, and describing the impact the HHRC has had on her own school district and teaching.
The MCELA is will be accepting nominations through December 31, 2022, for the March 2023 in-person conference recognition. Nominees should be full-time English language arts or literacy teachers of students in grades 6-12 and have taught for at least five years in public or independent schools in Maine. Nominees do not have to be a member of the Maine Council for English Language Arts. ELA educators who demonstrate the same qualities as the Brassils themselves: a commitment to student-centered learning, inspiration of all students, leadership in school, district, state, and national levels, development and sharing of effective practices, and involvement in the community and school beyond the classroom. More information on nominations available here: https://www.mainecela.org/nominate-an-educator.html
Please join us in congratulating Audrey Ennamorati and Maggie Adams!