Livingston Parish teacher in running for America’s Favorite Teacher

There is still time to vote for a retired Livingston Parish teacher for recognition as America’s Favorite Teacher.

Michelle Traylor said the America’s Favorite Teacher competition is through Reader’s Digest. She filled out the questionnaire that asked about her teaching philosophy and other parts of teaching. That information was added to her profile. Once she submitted the questionnaire, she was contacted and asked to participate in the contest.

“A part of a philanthropic organization, supported me, as well as my school and surrounding communities,” which is my community here in Livingston, as well as my community in my work area, which is St. Tammany,” Traylor said.

The competition consists of over 100 teachers from across the country. The competition is aimed at helping support Teach for America in its mission to create a world where all children learn, lead and thrive. The winner will appear in Reader’s Digest, win a trip to Hawaii, and take home $25,000.

Each week, there is an elimination event. Traylor is in the Top 15. The field will be trimmed to 10 teachers when the voting ends Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. Currently, Traylor is third in voting.

“I’m super excited to be a part of it,” Traylor said. “There is reward money, but I’ve already written in my proposal that I would dedicate it back to the school that I’m at in order to help them with a lab for science and technology.”

Traylor has been teaching since 1997. She taught at Springfield Elementary School for 23 years before retiring after the flood in 2016.

“I was left with a lot of heartbreak and we lost our home,” Traylor recalled. “It wasn’t just me losing my home, but it was my entire family. We all lost our homes. We didn’t have that generational opportunity to go to my parents house, or my sister’s house, because no one else had a house, so we had to relocate for a little bit.”

She stayed retired for a few years until someone approached her about an opportunity to get back into teaching because of the national teacher shortage. She followed up on the opportunity and is preparing to finish her second year at Abita Springs Elementary School in St. Tammany Parish. In addition to teaching at Abita Springs, Traylor is also a member of the Mande Milkshakers, a female marching crew that was established in 2018.

To vote for Traylor, click here.

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