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Organized by: Lisa Scott-Derrah

Lisa's Photo
Lisa's Photo
Lisa's Photo


Lisa has been a public servant for 30 years, teaching our troubled youth.  She has taught in Maximum Security Juvenile prisons, and at a school for students who could not excel in public schools, where she has received many awards and recognitions over the years.  

She sustained an injury several years ago to her right wrist, which has led to four surgeries to repair the damage, to no avail.  She is disabled and in constant pain.  She applied for Social Security Disability nearly two years ago and is awaiting her hearing date.

 Her attorney is certain she will receive her benefits, as she has all of the necessary documentation and has been told that her wrist will only worsen with age, but because it has taken nearly two years, she is close to losing everything.

She sold her home; cashed in her IRA and has spent all of her savings because she has no income and is receiving no unemployment or Medicaid benefits, whatsoever.

This teacher, who is 52 years old and has NO GAPS IN EMPLOYMENT since the age of 16, and who has changed the lives of so many students should not have to be worrying about becoming homeless while awaiting her Disability benefits.  

I know that whatever donations she receives, she will pay it all forward when she receives her benefits.




Richmond, VA – April 1, 2013 – Barnes & Noble, Inc., the leading retailer of content, digital 

media and educational products, today announced that Lisa Scott-Derrah from Virginia Home 

for Boys and Girls John G. Wood School has been named the local winner of the “Barnes & 

Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest.” 

Ms. Scott-Derrah was nominated by student Rockeem Thomas, a 10th

for Boys and Girls John G. Wood School, an alternative school for grades 6 -12. Ms. Scott-
Derrah said, “Rockeem wrote a beautiful letter and it brought me to tears when I read it. He’s a 

wonderful student and I’m honored to have him in my class.”

Ms. Scott-Derrah and Rockeem will be recognized during a ceremony at the Chesterfield Towne 

Center Barnes & Noble on Saturday, May 11. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with 

a Virginia Home for Boys and Girls and John G. Wood School Bookfair. Local supporters of 

the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls will have the opportunity to come to Chesterfield Towne 

Center Barnes & Noble to make donations to support the school from Friday, May 10- Sunday 

May 12.

Virginia Home for Boys and Girls is a nonprofit organization focusing on child and family 

services. The Richmond-based agency provides campus-based group homes, an alternative 

school and intensive community-based services to support children and families in their home 

and school. 

Students were invited to nominate their teacher by writing essays, poems or thank you letters 

that share how their teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire their 

teacher. Entries were judged on the compelling nature of the teacher’s qualities, the sincerity of 

the student’s appreciation and the quality of expression and writing. 

Rockeem Thomas, 15, wrote a letter of thanks to Ms. Scott-Derrrah, his English teacher. The 

letter stated, “I would like to say thank you for helping me in my time of need. I think of 

how you have helped and accepted me for who I am. I think of you as a second mother.”

Rockeem said he decided to write the letter because Ms. Scott-Derrach “listens to how you 

feel and it makes it easier to learn.” His favorite subjects are history and science, but he loves 

to write. “I like to write poems. It allows me to express myself and say what I want. It helps 

people learn more about me,” said Rockeem, who aspires to attend college and study botany. 

He’s currently one of the lead editors on a new Literary Magazine being produced at Virginia 

Home for Boys and Girls John G. Wood School.

Ms. Scott-Derrah will now be entered into the regional competition where five winners will be 

chosen. Each regional winner will receive a NOOK HD® and a $500 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. 

From the pool of five regional winners, Barnes & Noble will name one teacher the “Barnes & 

Noble National Teacher of the Year.” The winning teacher will receive $5,000 and the title of 

“Teacher of the Year.” The winner will be recognized at a special community celebration at a 

local Barnes & Noble store. The winning teacher’s school will receive $5,000 as well. 

The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher program provides students with the opportunity to tell 

their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. Only students enrolled in middle or 

high schools in the United States are eligible to participate acknowledging educators employed 

by private or public elementary, middle or high schools. Awards include cash prizes for the 

teachers and schools, NOOK Readers or Tablets and more.





Organized by

Lisa Scott-Derrah

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

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