When Lauren Anderson thought about one of her favorite teachers, it moved her to put her thoughts on paper.
And when she did, her words were recognized not just by her fifth-grade mentor, but national bookstore, . Young Lauren won the "My Favorite Teacher Contest" Saturday morning at the store and was recognized with a ceremony in the building's children's department.
Her poem was an ode to Susan Feret, an honors reading teacher at .
“Mrs. Feret is special because she is really nice and enthusiastic,” Lauren said. “Her style of teaching is very different. She would explain things in a fun way.”
She originally wrote a poem entitled, Path to Life, outlining her hopes for the future. She used aspects of that piece when drafting Favorite Teacher, she said. A portion of her work speaks for itself:
She is by far the best teacher I have ever met
Everything a teacher should be
Bringing in something new each day
So kind …
When Lauren learned a few weeks ago of the Barnes & Noble honor she was set to receive, she e-mailed Feret to arrange a meeting before school.
“I was so honored and thrilled,” Feret said after hearing about the poem. “It is so touching to know someone cares this much about me. It shows that the time we take for each of our students is so important. I am so glad Lauren will be recognized for her efforts.”
Lauren's father, Jeff Anderson, encourages Lauren to chase her writing goals. He and his wife, Jill, were on hand Saturday during their daughter's recognition.
“I told Lauren that anyone with a baseball glove can make a nice catch and anyone with a baseball bat can make a great hit,” he said. “But not everyone with a pencil in their hand can write.”
Peg Abhalter, spokeswoman for the local Barnes & Noble, told attendees Saturday that she and the other two poetry judges were “totally blown away” when they read Lauren’s poem.
More than 25 pieces were submitted to the contest, which was open to all those in kindergarten through 12th grade in and . The contest encouraged students to write poems, essays or thank you notes as a tribute to their favorite teachers.
“The pieces were judged on expression, teacher’s qualities, sincerity and creativeness,” said Abhalter, who is a former teacher herself. “We also judged each piece and compared them with their age levels.”