Barnes & Noble, Inc. the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products,
today announced the start of the 2017 “Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest,” which
for the past seven years has provided middle and high school students the opportunity to tell
their communities how much they appreciate their teachers.
Students can nominate their teacher by writing essays, poems or thank-you letters that share
how their teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them.
Participating schools collect the essays and submit them to their local Barnes & Noble store for
consideration. Entries are judged on the compelling nature of the teacher’s inspiring qualities,
the sincerity of the student’s appreciation and the quality of expression and writing.
The local winning teacher will be recognized in March 2017 at an event held in the Santa
Monica Barnes & Noble, where they will receive a special award acknowledging their
achievement as well as additional recognition and praise from their community. The student
who wrote the winning essay or poem will receive a certificate of recognition and will also be
honored at the ceremony.
Teachers from grades 1 through 12 are eligible for nomination. Awards for winning teachers,
schools and students include cash prizes, NOOK ® devices and more. The contest is broken
down into local and regional winners, from which the “Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the
Year” will be chosen.
Each regional winner will receive a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card and a NOOK by Samsung
device. From the pool of regional winners, Barnes & Noble will name one teacher the “Barnes
& Noble National Teacher of the Year.” The winning teacher will receive $5,000 and the title of
“Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year.” The national winner will be recognized at a
special community celebration at their local Barnes & Noble store, and the winning teacher’s
school will receive $5,000. The student who writes the national winning essay, poem or thank-
you letter will win a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card and a NOOK.
Last year’s winner, Carrie Martin, a second grade teacher from Evers Park Elementary School in
Denton, TX, had this to say about winning: “I would like to thank Barnes & Noble. It’s
awesome to have been selected as the 2016 Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year, but
there is nothing different about me than any teacher.” Mrs. Martin was nominated by her
former student, high school senior TiAnna Bridges-Reed, and was chosen from more than
10,000 entries at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. Carrie added, “We all teach because we
love children and because it’s what we are called to do. There are a lot of great teachers in our
nation. This could have been any of them. I believe teaching is the greatest profession there
is—and we all need to thank our teachers. Sometimes people don’t understand how much that
means to us as teachers just to have a student say, ‘Hey, you know you’re the greatest,’ even 10
Barnes & Noble has long supported teachers through Educator Appreciation Weeks, special
discounts, personalized service, in-store events, bookfairs, store tours for classrooms, and,
since 2011, through the My Favorite Teacher Contest.
“Teachers play such an important role in the lives of children and in our communities and
deserve recognition,” said Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President, Business Development for Barnes
& Noble. “The My Favorite Teacher Contest is loved by our booksellers because bookstores
and schools are both places of learning and aspiration—and the contest has such an impact on
students and teachers. There’s rarely a dry eye in the audience during a My Favorite Teacher
event at Barnes & Noble.”
The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest submission period ends March 1, 2017.
Students who want to participate must submit their essay or poem to their local Barnes &
Noble store by March 1. Only middle and high school students and active teachers employed in
elementary, middle or high schools in the United States are eligible to win. More details on the
contest rules, and photos and the winning essay from the 2016 Contest, can be found at