Herricks High School student-teacher duo Peyton Maier and Michael Stein were selected as regional winners in an essay contest sponsored by Barnes & Noble that asked high school students to describe their favorite teachers. Out of the 110 local winning pairs from various Barnes & Noble stores, Maier and Stein were distinguished as the top honorees.
Both were congratulated during a ceremony held at the high school on the afternoon of May 18. Anna Avalone, a store manager, presented them each with their own award plaques and Barnes & Noble gift cards. Principal Dr. Samuel Thompson and Director of English Language Arts Michael Imondi addressed the winners and audience, and Maier read his winning essay.
Originally named local winners for the Manhasset branch out of 60 submissions in late March, Maier, a junior, and Stein had the opportunity to advance in the contest. The competition required students to share, in 500 words or less, how teachers have influenced their lives and why they appreciate and admire them.
Maier described the positive impact that Stein’s English classes had on him during both his freshman and junior years. He credits Stein for getting him to enjoy writing and highlighted the characteristics that make this teacher unique.
“It is evident that Mr. Stein brings out the best in his students,” Maier wrote. “He exemplifies every quality of an effective teacher. He is smart, witty, fun, kind, caring and considerate.”
“Receiving this award is truly an honor, and the best part of the experience is seeing Peyton be recognized for his work,” Stein said. “I had the chance to see him grow as a writer and a student, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
—Submitted by the Herricks