Graphic that reads: Live on YouTube. 20201 Kentucky Teacher Awards and announcement of Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Oct. 22, 2020. 10:30 a.m. ET

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will stream the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year ceremony 10:30 a.m. ET this Thursday to honor some of the state’s best teachers. The event can be watched live on the KDE Media Portal.

Now in its 20th year, the awards program combines the Kentucky Teacher of the Year Program and Valvoline’s Teacher Achievement Awards, formerly the Ashland Teacher Achievement Awards.

The event will be co-hosted by Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass and Valvoline’s Chief Executive Officer Sam Mitchell. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Colemen also attend the ceremony in Lexington.

More than 2,500 teacher nominations were received for the Kentucky Teacher of the Year program and 209 applications were completed, a new record. In May, a committee of judges made up of highly respected educators from throughout Kentucky reviewed and scored each application.

The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc., a co-sponsor of the program, selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2021 Valvoline™ Teacher Achievement Awards in July. Nine outstanding teachers from across the state – three elementary, three middle and three high school – were named as semifinalists on Sept. 1.

Winners of the elementary, middle and high school Teacher of the Year awards, in addition to the overall 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced during the virtual ceremony.

Valvoline will present the 24 recipients of the Teacher Achievement Award with a cash award and certificate. The three Kentucky Teachers of the Year also will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time KDE will hold the ceremony virtually and livestream it. 

“Although we are unable to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of these teachers in person, we have an incredible virtual ceremony planned with a few surprises,” Glass said. “These award-winning educators represent more than 42,000 of their colleagues who are doing anything and everything to serve their students and ensure continued learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank all Kentucky teachers for their outstanding efforts during these challenging times.”