Nominations are open for the 2021 Kentucky Teacher Awards. 

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., who are both sponsors of the awards, announced that nominations were starting to be accepted on Wednesday. Any full-time public school teacher in Kentucky with at least three years of experience is eligible, according to a press release. This marks the 20th year of the Kentucky Teachers Awards program, which is a collaboration between private and public education. 

Nominations can be submitted electronically on the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year website, https://www.kentuckytoy.com/. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 15. Students, parents, teaching peers, principals, superintendents or anyone from the community who wants to honor an educator may nominate a teacher. 

Nominated teachers must complete a formal application by March 15. Judging will take place in March by a blue ribbon panel of education professionals, the press release said. Then, up to 24 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award winners will be announced in the spring. 

After nine semifinalists have site visits in April, and the top three are interviewed, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be announced in Frankfort. All 24 teachers will then receive prizes. 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 be honored with a cash prize of $10,000, along with an ambassadorship opportunity. The Kentucky Teacher of the Year will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition. 

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