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Sage Valley Junior High teacher in running for America’s Favorite Teacher award

Jennifer Mason, a seventh grade teacher from Sage Valley Junior High.

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Jennifer Mason, a seventh-grade English teacher at Sage Valley Junior High school, has the chance to win big in the America’s Favorite Teacher contest. The prize? A trip to Hawaii, $25,000 and a feature in Reader’s Digest.

Currently 13th in her group ranking in the contest, Mason said she would use the prize money to start a nonprofit organization to improve youth literacy.

“Reading, now more than ever, is on the decline in middle school, so I would love to get high-interest books into their hands,” Mason wrote in her contest profile. She also noted she would use part of the money to help with her own children’s college funds and potentially a college scholarship program.

For Mason, the most memorable part of each year is introducing young readers to the classic book “The Outsiders” — especially given the impact it has on students who may not have enjoyed reading previously.

“I love seeing kids get so invested in the characters, to the point that they’re brought to tears. For many, this reading experience is a gateway into enjoying reading again. I’m honored to be a part of that,” Mason said.

The contest will go through the first round of eliminations on Thursday, April 4. Click here to view Mason’s contest profile.