A Connecticut Creative Arts Organization

The Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching

The Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching honors the spirit of Frank McCourt, a teacher himself in New York City schools for over thirty years before achieving fame with the publication of his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes. Despite the immense success of this book and its two sequels, ’Tis and Teacher Man, Frank McCourt remained a teacher at heart. A resident of Roxbury, he gave generously of his time, talents, and energy to ASAP and other local causes. He was instrumental in establishing the Celebration of Young Writers and making it the wonderful and important event it is today.

The chief goal of the annually awarded Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching is to recognize teachers whose imaginative assignments and techniques have inspired students to become enthusiastic learners. A secondary goal is to find and promote ideas and practices that can be adopted by other teachers.

The Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching is presented annually at the Celebration of Young Writers. The event focuses on celebrating students, but ASAP believes it is also important to honor the devoted teachers who inspire these accomplished students.

Kim Harrell
King Philip Middle School, West Hartford, CT

Congratulations to Kim Harrell, the 2017 recipient of the Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Kim Harrell loves teaching seventh-grade language arts. Her students describe her as “calm and caring” and as someone who “understands her students.” They also stress that she “expects a lot from students but takes the time to make sure everyone understands what they’re learning.” These statements reflect Kim’s belief that an essential part of teaching is developing a relationship of trust with students. By creating a classroom in which students feel known and cared for, she is able to challenge students to take risks to extend their learning. Outside of school, Kim enjoys long walks, reading, and spending time with her husband and three children.


Past Recipients

2016 Recipient: Rena Winton, Nonnewaug High School
2015 Recipient: Bill Bucklin of The Forman School
2014 Recipients: Marla Truini of Westover School and Anthony Weymouth of Washington Primary School REACH Program
2013 Recipient: Martha Readyoff of Washington Montessori School
2012 Recipient: Leeza Desjardins of Nonnewaug High School
2011 Recipient: Lisa Worth Huber