Ms. Kristen Hode was chosen as the winner for Barnes & Noble's "My Favorite Teacher Contest" and Ms. Christie Cognevich was named a runner-up. Ms. Hode was nominated by senior Olivia Pelias, whose heartfelt essay earned Ms. Hode the top spot. "Ms. Hode has been a beautiful piece to the puzzle of high school for me," she wrote. "During the first year I met her, I improved in school skills such as vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing. But through my connection with a wonderful role model, teacher, and friend, I have learned more about myself, others, love, and most importantly Christ. Teachers truly never know where their impact ends."
Junior Ronni Genova's genuine respect and admiration for Ms. Cognevich also caught the attention of the contest judges. In her essay, written as a thank you letter to Ms. Cognevich, she wrote, "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me how to transform my ideas into words. ... you are one of the most encouraging teachers I have ever met. ... Thank you so much, Mrs. Cognevich, for inspiring me to believe in myself."
Entries to the contest were judged on the compelling nature of teacher's inspiring qualities, the sincerity of student's appreciation, and the quality of expression and writing. Michele Hart, Community Business Development Manager at Barnes & Noble, stopped by Mount Carmel to surprise Ms. Hode and Ms. Cognevich with the news. Both teachers will receive certificates on April 8 at 1 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble store in Metairie.
Congratulations to Ms. Hode and Ms. Cognevich!