AUGUSTA — You can nominate candidates for the next Maine teacher of the year, the Maine Department of Education announced Thursday.

Parents, students, fellow teachers or anyone can nominate a teacher for recognition, according to a statement from the department. In fact, the 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year, Kevin Grover of Falmouth, was nominated by a former student. Grover graduated from St. Dominic Regional High School in Lewiston, the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Southern Maine.

Any certified Maine teacher or specialist who is currently giving daily classroom instruction in a Maine-approved public or private elementary, secondary or vocational school can be nominated.

The Teacher of the Year program does not attempt to single out any individual as the best teacher in Maine, but rather to honor one teacher who represents all of the excellent teachers. Selecting a teacher of the year is a way to celebrate the many outstanding, dedicated people teaching in Maine schools, according to the department.

The Teacher of the Year program is supported by the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine State Board of Education, and is funded by Hannaford supermarkets.

Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 29. For more information, go to: and click on “2011 Nomination form.”

The winner will be announced in September.

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