Michigan Reading Association Secondary Teacher Award Recipients
2023 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Corinne Lyons - Detroit Public Schools Community District, Detroit, MI
“An educator committed to improving the outcomes for students, specifically those who have historically been marginalized by public education.” These words so powerfully describe this year’s recipient of MRA’s Secondary Educator Award, Corinne Lyons, a teacher at Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Sampson-Webber Academy. Ms. Lyons’ first career was that of a journalist and she eventually found her way to education as a substitute teacher. Ms. Lyons’ classroom practice is grounded in culturally relevant pedagogy, even going as far as including the expertise of community members in her language arts classroom so students can see the cultural relevance of literacy in their daily lives. In her district, she serves as a robotics coach, as well as the Teacher Lead for Equity, developing and facilitating professional learning to staff members. Ms. Lyons also advocates for colleagues as a proud member of the American Federation of Teachers. She has presented at numerous conferences including the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Beta Omicron Teach-a-Rama Conference in Jamaica, New York, and the Michigan Council of Teachers of English. She has been a presenter and conference coalition member at past MRA conferences and currently serves as the Diversity and Justice Chair. As a third-generation educator and third-generation Detroit Public School graduate, Ms. Lyons is deeply committed to education, giving her time and her ability passionately. The Michigan Reading Association congratulates Corinne Lyons, this year's recipient of the Secondary Educator Award.
2018 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Lynne Lesky – Public Schools of Petoskey, Petoskey, MI
The following words from Kendra Hoffman, a former student of this year’s Educator 7-12 recipient, Lynne Kelso Lesky, Petosky High School helps us understand the kind of teacher Lynne is, “Mrs. Lesky created an inviting environment in her classroom and a safe place to actually learn and share opinions”. Lynne states, “It is not enough that I have learned something, I must find a way to apply the information and pass it on.” Her experience as a Junior High teacher, High school teacher, Media Specialist and Michigan/New Cohert 2 RADD and Teaching with Primary Resource training has given her expertise to share with teachers at the Char-Em ISD, MiELA, and our own MRA conference. Of course, her students benefit the most. Lynne also is involved in School-Community Initiatives. She mentors students in the Poetry Out Loud: National Contest and a unique Poetry Store-which each December students write poetry on demand at the Petosky Open House to raise money for the Women’s Resource Center. Lynne is considered a mentor and champion for students and teachers. Please join the Michigan Reading Association in congratulating Lynne Kelso Lesky as the recipient of the Educator 7-12 Award.
2015 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Allison Jordan – Merrill High School, Merrill, MI
In a small rural high school, an English Language Arts teacher can be the Law Day Adviser, Book Club Adviser, National Honor Society Adviser, Powder Puff Coach, and Knitting Club Adviser, while also raising five boys of her own. Such is the case for this year’s recipient of the 7-12 Educator Award, Allison Jordan from Merrill High School. She has taught every level of ELA and Civic classes at Merrill High. Allison led the charge to implement the MAISA reading and writing units in the district, and she is an ELA consultant for the Great Lakes Bay Consortium. One of her students stated that “she has always been there inside and outside the classroom; she was one of the most supportive teachers I met during my high school years.”
2013 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Tamara Campbell – Summit Academy North High School, Romulus, MI
Great reading teachers truly understand the importance of impacting a student’s attitude about reading. This year’s recipient of the Teacher Educator 7-12, Tamara Campbell, of Summit Academy North High School in Romulus is one of these teachers. Her commitment and enthusiasm has helped to transform several reluctant readers into college ready readers in just a few short years. Teaching struggling readers takes an extremely patient and inspiring educator. Tamara adjusts her lessons continually and creates individual leaning plans for each every student. Tamara also conducts literacy training for all the teachers in the district. She had developed workshops at the Wayne County RESA for ELA as well as non-ELA teachers to increase reading across the content areas. Tamara Campbell is a passionate educator who inspires students and her colleagues every day.
2011 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Julia Houle – Lakeshore Middle School, Grand Haven, MI
She is a hands-on administrator – involved, supportive, and knowledgeable regarding reading strategies, programs and incentives. Julie Houle, this year’s recipient of the Secondary Administrator Award has championed the growth of Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven from its 1997 conception. Julie speaks of how reading skills are a springboard for students’ successes in any area – academic or social. She has also been a key player in setting up the district’s At-Risk Middle School Summer Program, as well as the after school Community CHILL program that was recognized by the Michigan Association of Schools Boards in 2009. Julia has supported sustained silent reading, the Battle of the Books and Reading Week in her school. Whether it is a professional book study for staff or bringing students to the hospital to deliver books for newborns, Julie is a huge supporter of reading. As one teacher wrote, “I believe Julie Houle to be very deserving of an award that rewards a leader for supporting, promoting and leading the teaching of reading.” She is described as “a wonderful role model as a reader, doer and a seeker of best knowledge and practice for her students and staff.”
2010 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Karen A. Angeli – Marquette Senior High School, Marquette, MI
“How is it that when one is teaching, an individual just feels that the profession was made for them? I know how lucky I am that I have found my perfect fit.” These inspiring words are from Karen A. Angeli, high school English Language Arts teacher, at Marquette Senior High School. The sentiments of the 7-12 Teacher Educator Award recipient for 2008 are echoed by her principal and colleagues. Karen has taught thirteen years at Marquette. In her her role as teacher and department chair, she led her department through changes in meeting the state benchmarks and standards. The first step taken was to develop a school- wide silent reading program. The Reading is Thinking program gives students time to read. “It has been an exciting journey learning to change with the times and figure out what new ways I must find to hook my students each year.”
2008 Secondary Teacher Award Recipient
Heather Hollands — Gwinn High School, Gwinn, MI
When a person first encounters her, they may have the impression that she is quiet, reserved, and almost shy. However, don’t let her fool you, there is fire behind her sparkling eyes. Heather Hollands, English Language Arts teacher at Gwinn High School, hasn’t fooled any of her students. You will find Heather’s students sitting on the “hot seat” as they put themselves in a character’s state of mind or hosting a Victorian Tea Party and taking on an author’s persona. Heather is an integral part of the leadership team of the Upper Peninsula Writing Project. In 2005, Heather wrote and received a rural poetry grant; her hard work sent one Upper Peninsula student, along with a guardian and teacher, to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC to read personal poetry with former United States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser. Heather encourages her students to observe the world by reading, reading, and reading. The Michigan Reading Association congratulates Heather Hollands as the Educator Award: Teacher 7-12 recipient for 2007.