Two local educators recently were honored and their students named winners in the Barnes & Noble "My Favorite Teacher" program.
The program provides students with the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. Teachers from kindergarten through grade 12 were nominated. Awards were cash prizes for the teachers and schools, NOOK™ e-book Readers and more.
The contest has been broken down into local and regional winners, from which the Barnes & Noble Teacher of the Year will be chosen.
The two winners are:
• Dakota Lyons, a second grade student from Butterfield School in Libertyville, who wrote the winning essay in the first through fifth grade category about her teacher, Erin Koehlhoeffer. They will proceed to the regional competition.
"My second-grade teacher is the best. If she wasn't my teacher, I'd be depressed. She is beautiful, caring and kind. Interested in helping every student's mind," read a portion of Lyons' essay, which was written to rhyme.
• Joi Freeman, a seventh-grader at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee, was the winner in the sixth through eighth grade category for an essay about her favorite teacher, Matthew Lakemacher.
"I admire Mr. Lakemacher because he is confident when he is teaching. This rubs off on his students, making us confident while learning. He is patient and answers all inquiries thoroughly," read part of Freeman's essay.
Students read their essays aloud April 18 at a reception at the Barnes and Noble store in Vernon Hills. This year's event had more than 135 submissions, with nearly 60 children reading their essays to their teachers.