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Barnes & Noble Names Lem Andrews National Winner of the 2018 “My Favorite Teacher Contest” and “Teacher of the Year”


Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller, today named Lem Andrews from Booker High School in Sarasota, FL, as the 2018 national winner and “Teacher of the Year” in the Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest. Mr. Andrews was nominated by his former student, Ellen Bausback, and was chosen from more than 4,700 entries at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.

From January 2018 to March 2018, 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 the many ways that we thank educators for all they do to positively impact the lives of kids,” said Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President, Business Development for Barnes & Noble. “We are dedicated to recognizing educators for their important work, 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 Mr. Lem Andrews, whose commitment to his students is reflected in Ellen Bausback’s inspiring essay.”

Ellen wrote, “Mr. Lem Andrews is the reason that I am going to college. Not only is Mr. Andrews a post-secondary advisor and teacher at my school, but he is also my mentor, my ally, and my number-one fan. When I arrived my freshman year at Booker High School, I wandered into Mr. Andrew’s “College and Career Resource Room” none the wiser. After a quick introduction and a handshake, Mr. Andrews got right to work, immediately seeing some unrealized potential in the shy, timid girl that had stumbled into his room.”

“You’re coming to speak at an Alpha Kappa Alpha luncheon with me,” he said. “We’re going to get you talking!” Reluctantly, I dragged my soft-spoken self to the event, where I had the opportunity to meet a hundred amazing women and speak to them about my future goals. I stuttered through my speech, but in the end I was proud of overcoming my fear of public speaking. With this small experience, Mr. Andrews had started a transformation in me.”’

Along with the title of “Teacher of the Year,” Mr. Andrews received $5,000 and was recognized at a special community celebration at his school. Mr. Andrews’ school also received $5,000.

Mr. Andrews said, “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by Barnes & Noble as Teacher of the Year. Out of the hundreds of students you work with, to have one that’s inspired enough to write something about you is a reward like no other.”

“Lem Andrews is an inspiration to us all,” added Dr. Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Every day he motivates students like Ellen Bausback to aim higher and achieve their dreams. His work at Booker High School is outstanding, and we are grateful for his contributions to promote student success.”

To learn more about Barnes & Noble’s My Favorite Teacher contest, customers should speak with one of the knowledgeable booksellers at their local store or visit

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

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