The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

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

New York, N.Y. – Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, named Christopher Donovan from Ayer Shirley Regional High School in Ayer, Mass., the 2019 winner of the national My Favorite Teacher Contest, earning him the title of Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year. Nominated by his former student, Brooklynne Mitchell-Arno, Mr. Donovan was chosen out of thousands of entries from students around the country.

“We are committed to recognizing educators for their important work all year round, and this contest gives us a chance to hear from students around the country about the teachers that make a difference in their lives,” said Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President, Business Development for Barnes & Noble. “This year, we are pleased to present the Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year award to Mr. Christopher Donovan, whose skill and passion for teaching is reflected in Brooklynne Mitchell-Arno’s heartfelt essay.”

From February 2019 to March 2019, Barnes & Noble invited students to nominate their favorite teacher by writing essays, poems or thank you letters detailing how much their teachers have impacted their lives and why they appreciate them. Entries were accepted online at, 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. Only high school students 14 or older at the time of entry and active teachers employed by elementary, middle or high schools in the United States were eligible for the award.

Barnes & Noble and school officials presented Mr. Donovan with his award at a special ceremony at Ayer Shirley Regional High School on May 14. At the ceremony, Mr. Donovan received $5,000, and Ayer Shirley Regional High School received $5,000. The nominating student, Brooklynne Mitchell-Arno, received a certificate of recognition and a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card during the ceremony.

In her nominating essay, Brooklynne wrote, “Walking into the halls of Ayer Shirley Regional High School during my freshman year was intimidating to say the least. Wide-eyed and trembling, and afraid of what my future held, [Mr. Donovan] steadied me … Without [his] constant guidance, I would not be the person I am, and the person I am going to be.”

Mr. Donovan said, “It is a true honor to be acknowledged by Barnes & Noble for this award. I especially want to thank Brooklynne for her heartfelt nomination, as well as the support of the students and my colleagues at Ayer Shirley Regional High School.”

“Mr. Donovan is an example of just one of the many great teachers in this school district, and we’re so proud of him as well as Brooklynne for receiving this award from Barnes & Noble,” said Dr. Mary Malone, superintendent of Ayer Shirley Regional School District. 

Barnes & Noble continuously displays its appreciation for educators through its Educator Membership Program with everyday discounts, Educator Appreciation Days throughout the year, personalized service, in-store events, bookfairs, store tours for students and teachers and, since 2010, through the My Favorite Teacher Contest.

To learn more about Barnes & Noble’s My Favorite Teacher contest, customers should speak with a knowledgeable bookseller, or visit


Take our survey!