AUGUSTA — Maine officials want to know the names of the extraordinary teachers in the state.

The Maine Department of Education is seeking nominations for the 2015 Teacher of the Year award. This is the first year the public can nominate a candidate for top teacher. Previously, only school principals and superintendents could submit nominations.

Teachers must be employed at a Maine public school and must have a four-year degree to be considered for the award.

This year, the state will recognize a teacher from all 16 counties. The Teacher of the Year award will be selected from those 16 and will be announced at a surprise school assembly in the fall.

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