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The 14th Annual 180 Awards Recognize 20 Inspiring Students and Educators

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Honors Students Who Have Achieved Exceptional Growth, and Educators for Fostering Personal and Academic Success

BOSTON Sept.15, 2020 — Learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the recipients of its 14th Annual 180 Educator and Student Awards. The awards celebrate students who have overcome considerable challenges to succeed in school and educators devoted to guiding students to success by harnessing the power of HMH's intervention solutions. This includes READ 180, System 44 and MATH 180, all of which use a blend of teacher-led instruction and adaptive technology to personalize student instruction and accelerate growth.

This year’s student winners have persevered through both academic and personal challenges to improve literacy and math skills and reach their full potential. Beyond their academic success, these students have gained the confidence and enthusiasm to work toward their college and career goals. HMH selected 15 student winners from a strong pool of finalists. Winners include:

For READ 180:

  • Darnasia Lessington-Cromedy, Grade 5, Oakbrook Elementary School (Ladson, South Carolina)
  • Joshua Rodriquez, Grade 5, Connolly School (Glen Cove, New York)
  • Jowah Scott, Grade 4, Kathy Binks Elementary School (Fontana, California)
  • Jesiel Moctezuma-Gonzalez, Grade 8, Palmer Middle School (Kennesaw, Georgia)
  • Kathrynn Fazio, Grade 8, West Feliciana Middle School (Francisville, Louisiana)
  • Joshua Burroughs, Grade 8, William Davies Middle School (Mays Landing, New Jersey)
  • Cody Shearer, Grade 9, Midland Valley High School (Graniteville, South Carolina)
  • Colter Wilson, Grade 9, Polson High School (Polson, Montana)
  • Angel Ortiz-Otero, Grade 9, East High School (Rochester, New York)

For System 44:

  • Raixiel Garcia, Grade 7, East Lower School (Rochester, New York)
  • Matthew Gould, Grade 5, Jamestown Elementary School (Jamestown, Pennsylvania)
  • Semaj Patton, Grade 5, West Central Elementary School (Joplin, Missouri)

For MATH 180:

  • Lucas Rivera, Grade 8, Woodrow Wilson Middle School (Middletown, Connecticut)
  • Jacqueline Apantenco, Grade 8, Grace Wilday Junior High School (Roselle, New Jersey)
  • Charlese Duran, Grade 8, Horizon Middle School (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

The five 180 Educator Awards winners demonstrate exceptional commitment to their students’ growth in and outside of the classroom, using HMH’s READ 180, System 44 and MATH 180 intervention programs to drive success. The teachers, who come from different backgrounds and areas of expertise, share a common passion for helping students build strong academic foundations and preparing them for their future. Educator winners include:

  • Natalie Mikula, Ferris Intermediate School (Ferris, Texas), READ 180
  • Christie Wootton, Kingwood Middle School (Kingwood, Texas), READ 180
  • Amber Gorrell, Summerville High School (Summerville, South Carolina), READ 180
  • Terry Fuciarelli, Corporate Landing Middle School (Virginia Beach, Virgina), System 44
  • Gavin Beglin, La Vista High School (Fullerton, California), MATH 180

“We’re proud to recognize the accomplishments of this year’s student and educator 180 Awards winners, who demonstrate what’s possible when teachers are motivated, students are supported, and both have access to the right technology and curriculum,” said Matthew Mugo Fields, General Manager, Supplemental and Intervention Solutions at HMH. “Especially in a year that has presented significant and unfamiliar challenges for teachers and students, we are honored to share their stories and amplify their accomplishments.”

The 180 Award recipients are nominated by colleagues, students and teachers, and are evaluated on several factors, including personal recommendations and statements, as well as data demonstrating growth in reading or math according to the Lexile® or Quantile® framework (teachers must show average gains among students in their classroom). Generally awarded each spring, the 180 Awards process was extended this year to accommodate COVID-19 related challenges.

Winning students will each receive a Grand Prize of a $500 Amazon Gift Card and winning educators will receive a classroom library, a $50 Amazon Gift Card, and will be invited to partner at future HMH sponsored events. Nominators of Student and Educator Winners will also receive a classroom library to inspire lifelong readers.

To learn more about the 2020 180 Award winners, including their backgrounds and specific academic and personal achievements, please visit

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

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Katie Marshall

Communications Manager

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt