2018 Teacher Grant Recipients Announced @ NCTE Opening Session

2018 Penguin Random House Grant Recipients,

Including Our $10,000 Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry,

Announced at the National Council of Teachers

of English Convention Opening Session



New York, NY, November 15, 2018 – The Penguin Random House Foundation today announce the recipients of its 2018 national Teacher Awards for Literacy, including the newly created Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry. These awards recognize the nation’s most dynamic and resourceful teachers who use their creativity to inspire and successfully instill a love of reading in students. The competition is open to full and part-time teachers in public schools across the United States. The winners are awarded grants to help further their innovative reading programs and to help disseminate them to other teachers around the country.


Melanie Fallon-Houska, Director of Corporate Giving, Penguin Random House, presented this year’s recipients at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention during its opening session, in Houston, Texas. “It’s an incredible honor to present this year’s Teacher Awards for Literacy and to celebrate these educators for their unique programs motivating and inspiring the nurturing of lifelong readers. As the leading sponsor to this year’s NCTE Conference, Penguin Random House is proud to foster a universal passion for reading and to honor these extraordinary educators for their commitment to student learning and the love of reading.”


Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE Executive Director, said, “These awards celebrate the creativity, innovation, and passion to further the work of these dynamic teachers. The entire community of educators, and students, benefit whenever a light is shined on the brilliance of teachers.”


The 2018 awards consist of two $10,000 first-place grants, one $5,000 second-place grant, and one $2,500 third-place grant for each teacher’s respective school. In addition, Penguin Random House book donations also will be made to these winners. Ten additional runner-ups will each receive $250 grants and books donations. The 2018 winners are:


Amanda Whatley –$10,000 Grant Recipient, English Teacher

Uwharrie Charter Academy – Asheboro, North Carolina


Joanna Fox – $10,000 Maya Angelou Grant Recipient, Creative Writing Visual and

Performing Arts Teacher

Booker Middle School – Sarasota, Florida


Angie Gibbs – $5,000 Grant Recipient, English Teacher

Irvington Preparatory Academy – Indianapolis, Indiana


Claudine James – $2,500 Grant Recipient, ELA Teacher

Malvern Middle School – Malvern, Arkansas


As an additional feature of the first-place awards, conference registration, travel, and lodging expense was included so that Amanda Whatley and Joanna Fox could accept their awards in person at today’s opening session, expected to be attended by more than 1,500 educators from around the country. Amanda and Joanna will speak to the conference attendees about their programs and initiatives that earned them their 2018 Penguin Random House Teacher Awards.




About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. With nearly 275 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.




Claire von Schilling                                        Melanie Fallon-Houska

212-782-9876                                                      212-782-8319


More information regarding this year’s recipients, go to: