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

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.

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  ambassadorship opportunity.

The Kentucky Teacher of the Year will represent the state in the National competition.

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

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