The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6917 is seeking nominations for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, now through Oct. 31.

Each year, the national award recognizes one elementary school teacher (K through 5th grade), one junior high teacher (6th through 8th grade) and one high school teacher (9th through 12th grade) who promotes civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism, and strive to help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs, according to the VFW website.

All kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers can be nominated for the award by fellow teachers, students, supervisors or other interested individuals. Each winning teacher will receive $1,000 for professional development, $1,000 for their school, two award plaques, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the VFW’s National Convention in July 2018.

All nominated teachers will first compete at the local VFW Post level with the winners advancing to the District level. District winners will then go on compete at the state level competition with state first-place winners advancing to the National Competition.

The VFW enacted the Teacher of the Year award contest in 1999 as a way to identify and recognize America’s best educators. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top teachers who instill a sense of national pride in students by teaching citizenship education topics regularly and promoting America’s history and traditions effectively, according to a VFW news release.

For more information, visit https://www.vfw.org/community/youth-and-education/teacher-of-the-year or contact the VFW Post 6917 Citizenship Education Chairman by phone at: (575) 382-9703 or email at: sraul7175@gmail.com.