"Everyone has someone who inspired them to be successful – whether you're still a student or not," said Keith Pearson, manager of the Vermillion Wal-Mart. "Vermillion is full of great teachers who deserve our thanks. At Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, we're proud to recognize those who instill knowledge and passion into the minds of their students."
Each Wal-Mart and Sam's Club location across the U.S. will name a winning local Teacher of the Year in honor of National Teacher's Day, which is Tuesday, May 8. Through this year's program, more than 4,000 teachers nationwide will be recognized, and the Wal-Mart and Sam' Club Foundation will donate approximately $5 million for three types of awards:
1. Local Teacher of the Year honorees receive $1,000 for their school, a $100 gift card to buy supplies for their classroom, an honorary Teacher of the Year polo shirt and a personalized certificate. All local winners are invited to apply for state honors by completing and submitting a comprehensive application form by June 1.
2. State winners, selected by members of the Phi Delta Kappa international educational fraternity, receive $10,000 for their school, business cards, a State Teacher of the Year certificate, and a one-year membership to PDK. All state winners are automatically entered into the national competition.
3. One national winner will receive $25,000 when the National Teacher of the Year is announced in November.
"We are looking for those teachers who go above and beyond the normal expectations of their teaching contact," said Cathy Moore, Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year program manager. "This program is all about recognizing teachers in our communities who are doing an outstanding job teaching, leading and mentoring America's youth."
Wal-Mart is one of the largest supporters of teachers and education. Last year alone the company gave away more than $45 million in support of educational initiatives. Since 1995, Wal-Mart Stores Teacher of the Year Program has honored 26,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $23.5 million to local schools.