The Local Teacher of the Year honor is awarded to an outstanding teacher in their area during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Winners are selected in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The State Teacher of the Year honor is given to one exceptional educator from each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico. The winners in this category are also eligible to receive the highest honor of National Teacher of the Year. The winners for both the State and National awards are selected through a partnership between Wal-Mart and the Phi Delta Kappa international professional education association. Applicants must submit their answers to four questions regarding their greatest contribution, community involvement and the three most critical issues in education affecting children, as well as two letters of recommendation.

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