MMI Preparatory School English instructor Jennifer Novotney was one of only 13 teachers from across the country to receive the National High School Teacher of Excellence Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
The NCTE honors recipients with the High School Teacher of Excellence Award to recognize and celebrate exceptional high school classroom teachers. Novotney accepted her award during the annual conference in Atlanta in November where she was also a general session presenter during the second day of the four-day convention.
In his nomination remarks, MMI Assistant Head of School Charles Seidel said Novotney “is an exceptional teacher who always strives to bring out the best in her students. Additionally, she is always seeking to learn new methods and pedagogy and enjoys sharing her new insights with those around her. She is creative with her lessons, but sees her students as much more than vessels to be filled. She seeks to develop critical thinking skills, communication, collaboration, and creativity in all she does.”
The National Council of Teachers of English Convention is held for leaders in literary education to explore the many ways educators are advocates for their students, communities, and profession. Novotney, along with Jennifer Brown of the Pennsylvania Council of English Language Arts, was a co-presenter of a session entitled “Teachers Who Write: Finding the Teach, Write, Life Balance.” In the presentation, Novotney and Brown, who are both published authors, discussed their journeys to publication and finding a teacher-author-life balance. The session offered hands-on, mini writing workshops where attendees got their own creative juices flowing. Additionally, participants left the session with their own “write-time” calendar.
Last fall, Novotney was one of seven featured authors at the Pennsylvania Council of English Language Arts annual conference in Harrisburg. Recently, she was named Vice President of Secondary Schools for the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts. Her term is for 3 years and she will be an integral part of the Executive Board of that organization. She is a native of Los Angeles and attended California State University and Northern Arizona University, graduating with highest honors in English.
Novotney joined the MMI faculty in the summer of 2013. She previously worked at Misericordia University as a Coordinator of Writing and Adjunct English Instructor, as well as The Pennsylvania State University at Hazleton as an Adjunct English Instructor. Prior to her move east, Novotney taught English at Panorama High School in California.
The National Council of Teachers of English is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. According to their mission statement, “The Council promotes the development of literacy, the use of language to construct personal and public worlds and to achieve full participation in society, through the learning and teaching of English and the related arts and sciences of language.”