ATLANTA, May 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McAlister’s Deli® is excited to announce its three national winners from its “McAlister’s Loves Teacher’s Contest.” During the month of April, McAlister’s customers were invited to nominate teachers who have impacted their lives or the lives of their children. Winners were selected from more than 5,000 teacher nominations across the country. The McAlister’s Deli brand is pleased to honor these three well-deserving teachers with a $1,000 gift card and a catered classroom treat.

This announcement follows the weeklong Teacher Appreciation Week celebration where teachers who visited their local McAlister’s restaurant received a free Famous McAlister’s Sweet Tea™ and McAlister’s restaurants collected $.75 for every sugar cookie sold through its Cookies for a Cause program. Through the Cookies for a Cause effort, the brand will donate the money collected to local school districts across the country to help with purchasing school supplies and other necessities.

Let’s Meet the “McAlister’s Loves Teachers Contest” Winners:

  • Kelsi Laningham, Afton Middle School (Granbury, TX): Kelsi teaches life skills at Afton Middle School in Granbury, Texas. She was nominated for going above and beyond with her students from supporting them with hands on help in and out of the classroom to planning stimulating teaching experiences. Her curriculum also includes cooking and social skills. Kelsi recently connected with a non-verbal student who had not spoken before and he spoke his first words in the sixth grade. Additionally, she also started an annual inclusive basketball tournament with typical kids and students with disabilities. The whole school attends this event and the children’s eyes light up from the support and camaraderie of their classmates. These are just a few examples of her impact in Granbury.

  • Amber Carn, St. Joseph Catholic School (Lansing, MI): Amber teaches fifth grade at St. Joseph Catholic School in Lansing, Mich. She was nominated for her thoughtful approach to teaching and always finding unique and innovative ways to make learning fun. Students have enjoyed memorable games and assignments to help them learn history, math and English. Parents have claimed she is everything students and parents look for in a teacher. Amber’s connection with her students past and present is strong and her impact goes beyond the classroom. She has even been known to connect with students later in life in meaningful gifts and notes with words of encouragement and wisdom.

  • Christopher Little, Jim Hill High School (Jackson, MS): Christopher is a band director at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, Miss. He was nominated for his selfless acts of kindness and continued efforts in motivating students and finding opportunities for his students to attend college through band scholarships. He is known for taking kids off the streets and giving kids in poverty-stricken areas a sanctuary. To many students, he is a father figure and listening ear.

“Teachers are pillars of the community and the lessons they teach us can last a lifetime,” said Joe Guith, president of McAlister’s Deli. “We are deeply humbled to honor all the devoted, hardworking teachers across the country, and we hope to have brightened their day by giving them a little something extra.”

For more information and to stay updated on the latest news, please visit and connect with McAlister’s on and Twitter and Instagram at @McAlistersDeli.

About McAlister’s
Founded in 1989, McAlister’s Deli® is a fast casual restaurant chain known for its genuine hospitality, sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™. In addition to dine-in and take-out service, McAlister’s restaurants also offer catering with a selection of sandwich trays, box lunches, desserts, a hot spud bar and more. With numerous industry accolades, the McAlister's Deli brand has more than 400 restaurants in 28 states. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit, and find McAlister’s Deli on social media at, and

CONTACTS:  Angie Champsaur, McAlister’s Deli
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