Common Core Aligned Writing Program for Schools
Lisa's Legacy in Literature Award for Passionate English Teachers

Do you know a teacher that builds a passionate culture of reading & writing at their school?

The Lisa's Legacy in Literature Award for Educators celebrates those educators who inspire hope and creativity in their classrooms.

When you nominate an educator you are

  • Celebrating awesome educators everywhere
  • Calling attention to the efforts of a unique educator who's changing the lives of young people
  • Honoring the memory of Lisa Lizak, a teacher with a huge passion for making a difference & promoting a culture of writing in schools

We take nominations for Lisa's Legacy in Literature Award at the beginning of every year. Nominations are open to all schools, and the winner is announced in March.


Meet our 2017 Winner, Jennifer McCollum

Jenny McCollum Accepting Lisa's Legacy Award with Mary Ernat 

Jenny McCollum Accepting Lisa's Legacy Award with Mary Ernat 

In April, local Wayne teacher Jennifer McCollum was recognized with the Lisa’s Legacy Award for Educators for her efforts as an outstanding Michigan educator.

As a special education teacher at Roosevelt-McGrath Elementary, Jennifer’s energy has touched her entire school, from students to administrators and support staff to parents.

Her enthusiasm and excitement was hard to miss as she accepted Lisa’s Legacy Award alongside Mary Ernat, the school’s principal.


What is the prize?

The winning educator will receive a total of $500 — $250 for writing supplies (children’s books, writing resources) and $250 to use however they like!

Award Timeline


Nominations accepted: 13 Feb — 26 Mar
Award will be announced on: 31 Mar


Lisa Lizak wasn’t just any teacher.

Liza Lizak

Liza Lizak

For all her students and those who knew her best, Lisa was joy, fun, kindness, and learning.

Armed with a personal collection of over 2000 books and an iron-willed love of literature, Lisa made sure that every day of her students’ week was about learning.

Even during her own youth, she was known for a festive, creative spirit, writing plays and pulling together her neighborhood friends to take part in the excitement.

She also brought this passion for inclusion and creativity into her classroom, sharing that seed of hope and magic that every child deserves.

She spent countless hours planning for her students, but the real inspiration came when she would dress up in costume, regularly turn her classroom into an enchanted place, and ignite her students’ imaginations.

Really, Lisa was an educator driven by sharing everything she had with her students and her fellow teachers, even the drive to have fun.

After a long battle with cancer, Lisa was honored by her father with a quote during her funeral, a quote that touches many of us educators. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

And really, our effect as educators never truly ends, because it lives on, like Lisa’s impact lives on, in the lives of all the students, fellow educators, and friends who we’ve touched.

Today, with the Lisa’s Legacy in Literature Award, we honor her and the wonderful impact she had on countless young writers and readers throughout the years. 


What are we looking for?

A teacher that builds a culture, raises the standard, has a passion that’s simply contagious, and who would go to any length to inspire the next generation of writers and readers.

They should also infuse their classroom with the writing spirit. As they challenge their students to become even better writers, they also spark their young writers’ creativity while imparting confidence and excitement.

In short: they’re the kind of teacher you’d love to have when you were a young writer and learner.

How do you nominate an educator you know?

Tell us more about them! Answer the survey questions below and share your chosen educator with the team at Writing with Design. We’ll review your submission and announce the winner at the end of March, every single year.

When is the nomination process and when will the winner be announced?

Nominations should be submitted between 2/13 and 3/26.

The winner will be announced on 3/31 via the Writing with Design Facebook, Twitter, and on our website.