Calling all Valley Stream students, the Above and “BEE”yond Teacher Essay Contest is here


Students across Long Island can nominate their teachers for a special-end-of-year class party and $500 sponsorship check when they submit an essay to the 8th annual Above and “BEE”yond Teacher Essay Contest.

This spring, four deserving teachers — two in Nassau County and two in Suffolk County — will be awarded a $500 sponsorship check to use toward their classroom for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year, along with an end-of-year party for their current class.

The contest started on Jan. 8 and will accept essay submissions through March 17 no later than 10 p.m. Participating Applebee’s locations, owned by Doherty Enterprises, where students can submit their essays in Nassau County are: Baldwin, Bellmore, Bethpage, Elmont, New Hyde Park, Rosedale, Valley Stream, and Westbury.

To nominate a teacher and enter the contest, students must submit an essay in-person at their local Applebee’s explaining why their teacher deserves to be Applebee’s “Teacher of the Year.” Elementary school students are required to nominate their teacher with a half-page essay, while middle and high school students are required to write a 500-word essay on why their teacher is most deserving.

“We’re honored to recognize our local teachers who work so hard to educate the youth,” said Brian McDonnell, Doherty Director of Operations, Applebee’s Long Island in a news release. “It’s truly gratifying to provide a platform where students can share the meaningful impact of their teachers make and to spotlight local community members making a difference each and every day.”

As an additional incentive, students who enter an essay will also receive a free ice cream certificate for later use, which can be redeemed at a participating Applebee’s.

Essay submissions are limited to one per student and will be accepted at participating Applebee’s restaurants. Winners will be announced on April 19 and end-of-year parties will be thrown before June 14. If end-of-year parties are not viable, class parties will be replaced with two Dinner for Four certificates for the winning essay writer.