FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) — If you know a good teacher in Kentucky, now is a perfect time to show your appreciation for them. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023 Kentucky Teacher Awards, sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc.

KDE officials say any full-time public school teacher in the state with at least three years of experience is eligible.

Students, parents, teaching peers, principals, superintendents or anyone from the community who has an interest in honoring an outstanding educator can nominate a teacher.

“The Kentucky Teacher Awards are an excellent opportunity to highlight the people who work every day to prepare our children for a bright and meaningful future,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass. “Their jobs have gotten harder in the past two years, but they have persisted. We encourage everyone to think of teachers who are making a positive impact on young people’s lives and nominate them for this recognition.”

All nominated teachers must complete a formal application and submit it by March 21, a spokesperson says. A blue-ribbon panel of education professionals from around the state will judge all applications in March.

Up to 24 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award winners will be announced in the spring. The top nine contenders will receive additional evaluations, which will culminate in the selection of the 2023 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.

KDE says the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be announced later this year, where each of the Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award winners will be honored with a cash prize and other awards. According to a media release, Teacher Achievement Award winners will receive a cash gift of $500 each; two of the three finalists will receive $3,000; and the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will receive $10,000, along with the opportunity to represent Kentucky in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Nominations may be submitted via this Google Form.