About Nancy Gorrell

Nancy Gorrell has over three decades experience as an English teacher in public and private education specializing in creative writing, poetry, and diversity programming and multi-cultural education. An award-winning teacher, writer, and poet, Nancy Gorrell is the author of two forthcoming books for high school English and science teachers: Writing Poetry through the Eyes of Science: Scientific Literacy and Poetic Response and Becoming a Teacher Who Writes: Let Teaching be Your Writing Muse by Equinox Publications in the UK. An experienced workshop leader and staff developer, Nancy Gorrell led faculty and staff in the SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) for 12 years in the Morris School District, Morristown, New Jersey.

In 1991-1992, Nancy Gorrell was the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. In 2001 she received the Outstanding English Language Arts Educator Award and a Governor’s Award in Arts Education. Nancy Gorrell has published numerous professional articles on teaching writing, poetry, and the Holocaust in English Journal and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) publications. Her poetry credits include: English Journal, Getting the Knack: 20 Poetry Writing Exercises, and Reflections on a Watermelon Pickle, 2nd edition. She resides in Bridgewater, New Jersey where she writes poetry, educational textbooks, and conducts professional development workshops and community-based literacy and diversity programs.

Certified Provider
N.J. State Department of Education--Language Arts, Writing, and Diversity Training

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
University of Wisconsin, Madison (1964-67)
State University of New York at Stony Brook BA Summa Cum Laude (1968)
State University of New York at Stony Brook MA American History (1970)

EMPLOYMENT: 1972-Present
Harbor Country Day School, Head of the Harbor, New York (Grades 5-8)
Morristown High School, Morristown, New Jersey (Grades 11 and 12)
Lincoln Center Educator in Aesthetic Education
Diversity (SEED) District Coordinator Morris School District
Literary Magazine Advisor

AWARDS, HONORS, DISTINCTIONS

  • New Jersey State Teacher of the Year 1991-1992.
  • Paul and Kate Farmer Writing Award for the most outstanding article published in English Journal in 1997: “Teaching the Holocaust: Light from the Yellow Star Leads the Way.
  • Holocaust Institute Teacher Award Raritan Valley Community College (1998) for most outstanding Holocaust lesson plan: “Teaching the Holocaust: Let Light from the Yellow Star Lead the Way.”
  • Outstanding English Language Arts Educator Award from the N.J. Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) (2001)
  • New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education (2001)
  • Princeton University Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award (Semi-Finalist) (2002)

AWARD-WINNING STUDENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS

  • Poem Pal Project: Founded national letter writing project involving the exchange of favorite poems among “poem pals” in CA, Ariz., Ore., and N.J.
  • Getting the Knack: 20 Poetry Writing Exercises Project. Selected by poets  Stafford and Dunning to participate in writing poetry exercises for their forthcoming book by NCTE; several poems by Ms. Gorrell and her students were published in Getting the Knack.
  • ARTifacts: Kids Respond to a World in Crisis, 9/11. Project sponsored by the Alliance for Young Writer’s and Artists. Ms. Gorrell’s students wrote poems to the “lost works of art” on exhibit in the WTC at the time of the bombing. The poems were exhibited in the Von Furstenberg Gallery along with photo replicas of the award-winning lost works of art and later published by Scholastic Books, Inc. as a student response to 9/11.
  • Jersey Rain Inter-Arts Project. David Sampson, local N.J. composer, set “Jersey Rain” by poet laureate Robert Pinsky and selected poems by Nancy Gorrell’s poetry students to a classical musical score. The Colonial Symphony Orchestra and choir performed the compositions in a public performance. Student poets and musicians also collaborated with Sampson, writing original poetry to classical compositions for the performance.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Journal Articles
    • “Let Found Poetry Help Your Students Find Poetry” English Journal (Feb 1989)
    • “Found Poem Variations” English Journal (March 1990)
    • “Taking off the Mask: Teaching the Recurring Image in Poetry Writing” English Journal (Nov 1990)
    • “Honoring the Writer” English Journal (April 1991)
    • “Publishing the Poetry Chapbook: Defining a Public Self” English Journal (Feb 1993)
    • “What Keeps Me Teaching” English Journal (Sept. 1997)
    • “Teaching the Holocaust: Light from the Yellow Star Leads the Way” English Journal (Dec 1997)
    • “Teaching Empathy through Ecphrastic Poetry: Entering a Curriculum of Peace” English Journal (May 2000).
  • Book Chapters
    • “Poetry to Engage the Person,” Literature and Life (NCTE, 1990)
    • “Becoming a Teacher Writer: A Story of Renewal,” Teacher as Writer: Entering the Professional Conversation (NCTE 1992)
    • “Improvisation Technique as an Envoy for Aesthetic Appreciation” Educational Psychology and Classroom Practice (Allyn and Bacon, 1992)
    • “Teaching Empathy through Ecphrastic Poetry: Entering a Curriculum of Peace,” reprinted: Virginia Monseau, editor, A Curriculum of Peace (NCTE, 2004) and reprinted: Chris Weber, Nurturing the Peacemakers in our Students, Heinemann, 2006).
  • Newspaper Commentary
    • Opinion Shaper Columns on Education: Morristown Daily Record (1991-1992)
  • Poetry
    • “Blueberry Pie,” English Journal
    • “Kindergarten Creation,” The Rockford Review
    • “The Motor,” BlueLine
    • “Grandma Came Down,” Footwork: Paterson Literary Review
    • “The River,” Footwork: Paterson Literary Review
    • “Dear Dolphin,” Getting the Knack: Twenty Poetry Writing Exercises
    • “To See,” Getting the Knack: Twenty Poetry Writing Exercises
    • “Blueberry Pie,” Reflections on the Gift of a Watermelon Pickle, 2nd edition.
    • “Sometimes Poems Come” English Journal
  • Novel Adaptation
    • Adapted the novel Ethan Frome (Globe Fearon, 1994) for basic readers on the high school level.
  • Forthcoming Books
    • Writing Poetry Through the Eyes of Science: A Teacher’s Guide to Scientific Literacy and Poetic Response (Equinox Publications)
    • Becoming a Teacher Who Writes: Let Teaching Be Your Muse (Equinox Publications)