Recognizing Innovative Projects in Support of
Cultivating Literacy & Lifelong Readers

We are proud to announce our 2018 Teacher Award Recipients


First Place
$10,000 Grant Recipient

High School
English Teacher

Uwharrie Charter Academy
Asheboro, NC

High school teacher Amanda Whatley’s passion for learning and teaching is apparent. She uses various evidence- based practices in her classroom to reach all learners. The Monster Literacy Night project is designed to engage students in literacy practices that include reading, analyzing, researching, and knowledge-sharing. The overall objective of the program is to encourage a lifelong love of reading and research in students of all ages, and to make difficult texts accessible to all students. This program earned her the First Place 2018 Penguin Random House Teacher Award for Literacy.


Second Place
$5,000 Grant Recipient

High School English Teacher
Irvington Preparatory Academy
Indianapolis, IN

Angie Gibbs is a dedicated, talented, and engaging teacher who makes a difference in the lives of her students every day, and who works hard to help students become lifelong readers by exposing them to books that reflect their own voices and life experiences. She started the Teen Book Bag project out of her classroom, where the students can choose a themed bag with three books and take it home to read. The slogan for her project is Read, Return, Repeat. This program earned her the Second Place 2018 Penguin Random House Teacher Award for Literacy.


Third Place
$2,500 Grant Recipient

ELA Teacher
Malvern Middle School
Malvern, AR

Charismatic and creative, Claudine James definitely thinks outside the box. She develops a rapport with students, colleagues, and parents that is characterized by mutual respect. Innovative instruction can be seen in Ms. James’s classroom through her interaction with students, communication, classroom management, assignments, and assessments. Ms. James’s teaching expertise is extensive and provides her with a toolbox of strategies that make her a remarkable teacher. Rewarding Readers earned her the Third Place 2018 Penguin Random House Teacher Award for Literacy.


Maya Angelou Award
$10,000 Grant Recipient

Creative Writing Visual and Performing Arts teacher
Booker Middle School
Sarasota, FL

Middle school creative writing teacher Joanna Fox earned the Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry for her program Dragon Fly Café. The curriculum and unique environment are uniquely designed by Ms. Fox, based on a storehouse of education and experience, to create a place of safety, where students can experience a world rich with self-discovery, expressing all of their emotions through art. Her curriculum includes many opportunities for students to connect to the greater community.

$1,000 Honorable Mention Award:

KAREN HUBERTY, Dakota Hills Middle School Eagan, MN

Runner-Ups will each receive a $250 grant award for their program
and Penguin Random House Book Donation:

MARY CAMPBELL, Berewick Elementary, Charlotte, NC
ASHLEY COX, The Howard School, Chattanooga, TN
KASSANDRA CROSS, EB Comstock Middle School, Dallas, TX
JOHANNA DAY, Larchmont Charter School, Los Angeles, CA
JULIA FAULK, Choctaw Central High School, Choctaw, MS
MICHAEL POSER, Hobson Public School, Hobson, MT
DORI VALDERRAMA, Brader Elementary School, Newark, DE
MEGAN VITTITOW, Augusta Middle School, Augusta, KS
AMAL GIKNIS, Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, PA
BRANDON HUBBARD-HEITZ, The Howard School & Brainerd HS, Chattanooga, TN

Do You Know a Great Teacher?

Teachers Can Apply or be Nominated to the
Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy

$10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 grant awards are available including $2,500 in Penguin Random House titles. Transportation, lodging and conference registration is also provided for the $10,000 grant recipient to attend the Penguin Random House Awards event at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in Houston, TX from November 15-18, 2018.

Application Deadline: TBA

Official Press Release    2018 Winners

Check out our highlights video and past recipients!