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The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher program provides middle and high school students the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. Teachers from grades 1 through 12 are eligible for nomination, and awards include cash prizes for the teachers and schools, NOOKs and more. The contest is broken down into local and regional winners, from which the Barnes & Noble Teacher of the Year is chosen.

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 their teacher. 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 qualities, the sincerity of the student’s appreciation and the quality of expression and writing.

Barnes & Noble's 2016 National Teacher of the Year is Carrie Martin from Evers Park Elementary School in Denton, TX, pictured with her former student Tianna Bridges-Reed who wrote the winning essay.

The local winning teacher is recognized in the spring at an event at their local Barnes & Noble, where they receive a special award acknowledging their achievement and additional recognition and praise from their community. The student who wrote the winning essay or poem also receives a certificate of recognition and is honored at the ceremony. 

The winning teacher from each store is then entered into the regional contest, where regional winners receive a NOOK and a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card. From the pool of regional winners, Barnes & Noble names one teacher the Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year. The winning teacher receives $5,000 and the title of “Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher of the Year.”  The winner is recognized at a special community celebration at their local Barnes & Noble store, and the winning teacher’s school receives $5,000.

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Photo: Barnes & Noble's 2016 National Teacher of the Year is Carrie Martin from Evers Park Elementary School in Denton, TX, pictured with her former student Tianna Bridges-Reed who wrote the winning essay.