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Teacher of the Year Award Created

(Reprinted from the San Diego Fall 2009 NABC Daily Bulletin)

Not every bridge teacher has authored a bestseller, written a newspaper column or become well known enough to receive an entry in the Official Encyclopedia of Bridge. Nevertheless, there are many teachers who continue to inspire their students day in and day out, promoting the game in their community and answering any question clearly, concisely and without judgment, whether it’s how to take a finesse or Roman Keycard Blackwood. Their work too often goes unrecognized, yet it is vital to the future of the game.

Starting next year, thanks to Master Point Press and the American Bridge Teachers Association (ABTA), these anonymous-yet-praiseworthy mentors will finally have an annual award to call their own: the ABTA Master Point Press Teacher of the Year Award.

“This is really for the unsung heroes of the bridge world,” Barbara Seagram, co-author of the bestselling 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know, chair of the ABTA Teacher of the Year Committee, and a bridge teacher herself, said in a statement. “At last there is an award for those in the trenches.”

To nominate someone, students are encouraged to e-mail one or two paragraphs to Barbara Seagram (bseagram@ca.inter.net) explaining why their teacher deserves consideration. Nominees must have at least five years’ teaching experience, and teach at least 75 hours a year. Nominations will close on April 1, 2010.

The award will be given to a teacher who exemplifies what Seagram calls “love for the game. They may not have a famous name, but their communication skills and enthusiasm promote bridge’s future, adding to your enjoyment.”

Master Point Press co-founder Ray Lee is “delighted” to be working with the ABTA to create the Teacher of the Year award. “It is the bridge teachers who bring new people into the game, and we want to recognize their hard work and dedication,” he said. The first winner will be presented with a “Teacher of The Year” plaque and a cash award next July in New Orleans at the ABTA’s 2010 convention.

The ABTA is a professional organization of bridge teachers from Canada, Mexico and the USA. Its mandate is to help those who teach bridge to do it better. Master Point Press is the world’s largest publisher of books on contract bridge with more than 150 titles in print. Most recently, MPP has expanded its reach by starting a blog site at www.bridgeblogging.com, aimed at providing a forum for discussion on all things bridge, and a sister site www.masteringbridge.com designed for teachers and students.

For more information on this new award, contact Barbara Seagram (bseagram@ca.inter.net) or phone 416-487-8321 or Linda Lee (info@masterpointpress.com) or phone 416-781-0351.