Coccia-Inserra Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Italian (K-12)

(Mar 19, 2012)

Application for the Year 2012
The Coccia-Inserra Award honors a teacher of Italian at the K-12 level, and is generously donated by Cav. Joseph Coccia, Jr. and Mr. Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr. Cav. Coccia aggressively pursues the preservation and promotion of Italian culture, having established the Coccia Foundation in 1994, and the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America at Montclair State University. Mr. Inserra also contributes significantly to the rich field of Italian American Studies with the newly instituted Theresa and Lawrence R. Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, also at Montclair State University. The Recipient of the Coccia-Inserra Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Italian (K-12) will receive $2000 for his/her school, to be used to advance its Italian language and culture curriculum and programming.


The award is open to teachers who currently are:

  1. Members in good standing of either:
    1. AATI (American Association of Teachers of Italian) or
    2. ITANJ (Italian Teachers Association of New Jersey)
  2. Full-time K-12 classroom teachers of Italian (nationwide)

Selection Process

A Blue Ribbon Panel of experts has been established to oversee the process and select the award recipient.

  • Dr. Anthony Julian Tamburri, Professor and Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College (New York, New York)
  • Dr. Andrea Baldi, Professor of Italian; Graduate Director of the Department of Italian at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey)
  • Dott. Antonio Benetti, Dirigente Scolastico, Consulate General of Italy in New York (New York, New York)
  • Dr. Roberto Dolci, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Università per Stranieri di Perugia  (Perugia, Italy)
  • Dr. Marisa Trubiano, Associate Professor of Italian; Deputy Chair of the Department of Spanish and Italian at Montclair State University (Montclair, New Jersey)


The Blue Ribbon Panel will evaluate participants on the following criteria:

  1. Planning and Preparation
    1. The teacher’s effectiveness as demonstrated in sample lesson plans that conform to the state standards and address the three modes of communication.  These plans should evidence:
      1. goals and activities that inspire and engage students in their own learning;
      2. use of technology and 21st century skills to enhance the students’ learning experience;
      3. assessment that reflects current practice.
  1. Involvement Outside the School
  2. The teacher’s leadership as demonstrated in ACTIVE involvement with professional organizations and the promotion of the Italian language and culture (e.g., presentations, workshops, administrative duties, public relations work) that have benefited the Italian program and its students;
  3. Creating opportunities for community and/or parent participation in the Italian program (e.g., film night, festival), where parents and other community members are invited.
  4. Instructional Innovations

i.   Evidence of effective instruction practice via supervisor and/or principal’s classroom observation report;

ii.   Student comments/letters/etc.;

  1. Teacher’s self-evaluation and reflections;

  2. Active participation in Professional Development events, in the capacity of presenter, facilitator, workshop leader, etc.;

  3. Teachers must submit a video-recorded lesson or part thereof that is between 15 and 20 minutes in length.  Videos must be uploaded to YouTube and privacy setting must be set to Private. The link will be sent to one (1) email address to be viewed by the panelists only [].  The panelists will affirm, in writing, that the video will not be  shared with or distributed to anyone beyond the panel for the award.  Permission forms must be sent home, if the School or the Board does not already have in place a policy about students appearing in promotional materials. 


Application Deadline:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Award Presentation:

Friday, October 26, 2012 at the professional development symposium:

Teaching Italian:  A Symposium / Workshop for Instructional Materials.

Meeting V: Culture at the Core of Unit Planning (Montclair State University)