updated 06/12/2012 AT 9:55 AM ET
•originally published 06/14/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
Remember a teacher who changed your life? Know one who is helping kids now in an innovative way? Encourage them to enter the first annual PEOPLE Teacher of the Year contest.
Five educators working in grades K-12, who are making a difference in their students’ lives, will each be awarded a $5,000 prize (with $4,000 for the school, $1,000 for the winning teacher) with support from our sponsor Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal. It’s a great way to recognize an amazing teacher, and help deserving schools and students.
Download the application here to get started.
The deadline is July 2!
Winners will be determined by PEOPLE’s editors and an independent panel of education professionals. The panel includes Kimberly Oliver Burnim, a prize-winning Maryland teacher; John Deasy, superintendent of L.A. Unified School District; Lily Eskelsen of the National Education Association; Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America; and Grammy-winning musician and philanthropist John Legend.
Please do not send nominations on their own. Only complete applications with ALL elements listed below (sent in one envelope) will be considered for judging:
One letter of recommendation – can be from students, school administration or parents, but not a relative
Photograph of applicant
Download the application here to nominate an amazing teacher