Barnes & Noble Names Laura Braly National Winner of the 2017 “My Favorite Teacher Contest” and “Teacher of the Year”
Baltimore, MD, Educator Receives Praise from Student, Awarded $10,000 to Share with Dulaney High School
NEW YORK -- June 6, 2017 -- Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today named Laura Braly from Dulaney High School in Baltimore, MD, as the 2017 national winner and “Teacher of the Year” in the Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest. Ms. Braly, an eleventh grade Paramedical Biology teacher, was nominated by her former student, high school senior Randy Davidson, and was chosen from more than 9,000 entries at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.
From January 2017 to March 2017, Barnes & Noble invited students to nominate their favorite 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. Entries were accepted at Barnes & Noble stores, and were judged on the compelling nature of the teacher’s qualities, the sincerity of the student’s appreciation and the quality of expression and writing.
“The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher contest is one of our many ways that we continue to show our dedication to serving educators,” said Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President, Business Development for Barnes & Noble. “We believe in recognizing educators for the work that they do, and this contest gives us a chance to celebrate thousands of teachers each year. This year, we are pleased to present the Barnes & Noble Teacher of the Year award to Ms. Laura Braly, whose commitment to her students is reflected in Randy Davidson’s inspiring essay.”
Randy wrote, “Transitioning from middle to high school happens during one of the most impressionable times in a student’s life. My family and I found ourselves ‘residentially-challenged’ during my freshman year. While peers were meeting new friends and planning homecoming, I was wondering where our next meal would come from or whether we’d find change to wash clothes. Homelessness is a humbling experience. Thankfully, we persevered. Unfortunately, my grades didn’t fare so well and I was ready to give up…
“Until my junior year, no one cared to get to know the real me. But then I met you, (Laura Braly), my ‘academic ghostbuster’ of sorts! Enrolling in your Paramedical Biology class was the best decision I’ve made. You got me to open up. You saw my true potential and refused to let me hide it any longer… At the risk of sounding cliché, you have to know that you changed my life. It’s because of you that I am now a straight-A student and have been offered admission to my favorite university… Everyone needs a hero. You are mine.”
Along with the title of “Teacher of the Year,” Ms. Braly will receive $5,000 and was recognized at a special community celebration at her school on May 30. Ms. Braly’s school will also receive $5,000.
Ms. Braly said, “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by Barnes & Noble as Teacher of the Year. I cannot thank them or Randy Davidson enough for this award. As a teacher, you encounter many students throughout your career and you hope to make an impact on as many of them as possible. Having one of those students, like Randy, come back and thank you for inspiring and educating them is a reward like no other.”
About Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 634 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4.5 million digital books in the US (www.nook.com), plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.
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About the Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Program
The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher program provides middle and high school students with the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. Teachers from Grades 1-12 are eligible for nomination. Awards for local and regional winners included prizes for the teachers, including NOOKs® and more.
The My Favorite Teacher Contest runs from January to March. Details on the contest rules can be found at www.bn.com/myfavoriteteacher.