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News : Education Apr 1, 2014 - 11:23:02 AM

Barnes & Noble Stamford announces local winner of My Favorite Teacher contest

By Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the leading retailer of content, digital media, and educational products, today announced that Miriam Gonzerelli from Turn of River Middle School in Stamford has been named the local winner of the Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest. Gonzerelli was chosen from entries at the Barnes & Noble at Stamford Town Center. Gonzerelli was nominated by Luis Guaillas.

Students were invited to nominate their favorite teacher by writing essays, poems, or thank-you letters that explain how their teacher has influenced their life and reveal why they appreciate and admire him or her. 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.

Ms. Gonzerelli will be recognized at an event at the Stamford Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. where she will receive a special award acknowledging her achievement, and additional recognition and praise from the community. Luis Guaillas, who wrote the winning essay, will receive a certificate of recognition and will be honored at the store during a ceremony for the winning teacher. The public is invited to attend.

Miriam Gonzerelli lives in Stamford with her husband. She attended Hunter College and received a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Language Arts. After teaching in the Bronx, she completed her master’s degree in Bilingual Education. She has been teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Language Arts at Turn of River Middle School in Stamford since 1991. She empowers her students’ parents by educating and inspiring them through Latino Night at the school that she presented in conjunction with the “Parents of Students With A Dream.” Her inspiration is her cousin and best friend, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She uses her memoir, My Beloved World to teach her students that anything is possible. Ms. Gonzerella is also a special guest speaker on My Beloved World. She says, “Teaching has not made me rich monetarily but has filled me with great joy and satisfaction. Not many people go through life knowing exactly what they were meant to do. I still look forward to going to work every day and hope never to lose my passion for teaching.”

Miriam Gonzerelli will now be entered into the regional competition where five winners will be chosen. Each regional winner will receive a $500 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. From the pool of five 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 Teacher of the Year.

The winner will be recognized at a special community celebration at a local Barnes & Noble store.

The winning teacher’s school will receive $5,000 as well.

The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest provides students with the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. Students enrolled in middle or high schools in the United States are eligible to participate; and only educators employed by private or public elementary, middle, or high schools are eligible to be nominated. Awards include cash prizes for the teachers and schools, and more.

More details on the contest rules can be found at

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