Grants & Scholarships K-12 teacher

Coccia-Inserra Award 2023 For Excellence And Innovation In The Teaching Of Italian (K-12)

Application for the Year 2023

The Coccia-Inserra Award honors a teacher of Italian at the K-12 level, and is generously donated by Coccia Foundation in the name and memory of its founder, Cav. Joseph Coccia, Jr., and by Mr. Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr.

Founded in 1994 by Joseph and Elda Coccia, and now under the leadership of President Elisa Coccia, Coccia Foundation aggressively pursues the preservation and promotion of Italian culture, in conjunction with its ‘academic arm,’ the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America at Montclair State University.  Mr. Inserra, Chairman and CEO of Inserra Supermarkets, Inc., also contributes significantly to the rich field of Italian American Studies, having instituted in 2011 the Theresa and Lawrence R. Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, also housed at Montclair State University.

The Coccia Foundation is pleased to announce that their donors will be awarding a very generous prize of $5000 as the monetary component of the Coccia-Inserra Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Italian (K-12) for academic year 2023.  These funds are to be allocated as follows:

a)  $2500 is to be used exclusively to advance the Italian language and culture curriculum and programming within the recipient’s classroom;

b) $2500 is to be dedicated to the professional development of the winning teacher (for direct payment of academic fees to an institution of professional development in Italian language and culture at home or abroad);


The award is open to teachers who currently are:


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

  • Andrea Baldi, Professor of Italian, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey)
  • Maria Gloria Borsa, Bellaire High School, Houston, Texas; Recipient of the 2020 Coccia-Inserra Teaching Award)
  • Gina Gallo, Bristol Central High School, Bristol, Connecticut; Recipient of the 2016 CocciaInserra Teaching Award
  • Dr. Annavaleria Guazzeri, Dirigente Scolastico, Consulate General of Italy in New York
  • Dr. Mary Sisler, Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian, Hamilton College (Clinton, New York)

Application submission process and supporting material

Consult the following webpage.



Application Deadline:   Monday, July 31, 2023                        

Award Presentation:      Friday, October 20, 2023 at the professional development symposium:  Teaching Italian:  Symposium / Workshop for Instructional Materials. Meeting XVI (University Hall Conference Center, Montclair State University).

Please note:  The recipient’s travel and lodging expenses will be assumed by the Coccia-Inserra Award committee.