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Kentucky Department of Education opens nominations for 2021 Teacher of the Year awards

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., sponsors of the Kentucky Teacher Awards, have opened nominations for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher Awards.

Nominations may be submitted electronically by visiting the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year website at kentuckytoy.com. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 15. Any full-time public school teacher in the state with at least three years of experience is eligible. Teachers may be nominated by students, parents, teaching peers, principals, superintendents or anyone from the community who has an interest in honoring an outstanding educator.

Erin Elizabeth Ball, center, a language arts teacher at Georgetown Middle School (Scott County), was named the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year at a May 20 ceremony in Frankfort. (Photo by Danielle Harris, via Kentucky Teacher)

All nominated teachers are required to complete a formal application, which must be submitted by March 15. Judging will take place in March by a blue ribbon panel of education professionals from around the state. Up to 24 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award winners will be announced in the spring.

Following site visits with nine semifinalists in April and interviews with the top three candidates, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be announced in Frankfort. At that time, all 24 teachers will be honored with cash awards and other mementos. Teacher Achievement Award winners will receive a cash gift of $500; two of the three finalists will receive a cash gift of $3,000; and the Teacher of the Year will receive a cash prize of $10,000, along with an exciting ambassadorship opportunity. The Kentucky Teacher of the Year then will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Now in its 20th year, the Kentucky Teacher Awards program is an innovative collaboration between private industry and public education.

This story originally appeared at Kentucky Teacher, a publication of the Kentucky Department of Education.

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