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Honors and Recognitions

Posted: April 12, 2012

Eldorado, Matheson Park Teachers Win Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest

Eldorado HS English teacher Lauren McDougall and Matheson Park ES third-grade teacher Kent Williamson were chosen after students wrote essays praising their excellent teaching skills.

Lauren McDougall of Eldorado High

Kent Williamson, Matheson Park ESKent Williamson of Matheson Park ES

Lauren McDougall, an English teacher at Eldorado High School, and Kent Williamson, a third-grade teacher at Matheson Park Elementary School, were selected as the winners of the Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher contest.

Students were invited to 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. Entries 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.

EHS senior Cheyanne Grissom and Matheson Park fifth-grader Hannah Dahl wrote the winning essays, praising the two APS teachers for their excellent skills.

Cheyanne wrote of McDougall: "Mrs. McDougall is an outgoing, fun, yet strict teacher whom I admire with my entire being. She turns a normally tedious and complicated idea into an exceptionally easy fact...She requires effort from everyone involved; she does not give any student an easy pass, and she sees it her duty to help all students in whatever way she can."

Hannah, a fifth grader who had Williamson when she was in third grade, said he made class interesting and relevant, and he made students learn. She said Williamson wouldn't accept anything but their best work.

"He knows his students and their parents," added Matheson Park Principal Stephen Maresca. "He recognizes from the moment they line up in the morning if they are in a good, middle or bad place. He makes sure the ones who need to (and can't at home) go and get breakfast before coming to class. He has been one of my best teachers during my five years here."

Teachers and students will be recognized at an Educators Reception Breakfast on Saturday, April 14, during Educators Appreciation Week.

Winners by category have also been entered in a regional contest and are eligible to receive a NOOK Color™ eReader and a $500 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.  

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 “My Favorite Teacher.”  The winner will be recognized at a special community celebration at their local Barnes & Noble store. The winning teacher’s school will receive $5,000 as well. The winner will also receive five copies of the winning essay published in hardcover by, the site where students create and publish their own books, and a $250 Tikatok Gift Card that will allow the teacher to publish select stories written by students in their class.

For more information about the contest, visit


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