Andrew Demko, a junior high and high school social studies teacher at Prairie City School is being recognized for his creativity and success in the classroom as a Disney teacher award nominee. Demko joins an elite group of teachers from across the country who have been recognized by their communities.

As the next step in the awards process, Demko is now submitting an application to be considered for the 2006 Disney Teacher of the Year Award.

Since 1989, Disney Teacher Awards have been presented to teachers who construct learning environments where students and teachers alike explore, imagine and engage in a variety of stimulating ideas and experiences. The program honors teachers whose approaches exemplify creativity in teaching and who inspire a joy of learning in their students.

"I think that it is a real honor to be selected as a nominee; as a teacher I strive to help students be successful in their educational goals and career," said Demko.

In addition to letters of recommendation, Demko will submit an application that includes several professional reflection essays describing his classroom and approach to teaching, the impact of high stakes testing, how he approaches collaboration in his school and career and an event that shaped him as a teacher.

A committee of education experts from around the country will review the nominee applications and select the 2006 Disney Teacher Award Honorees.

The honorees will be announced in late spring and celebrated at a red-carpet Awards Gala in July.

During the Gala, four honorees will be selected as outstanding teachers and will be named the 2006 Disney Teacher of the Year.

The honorees each will receive $10,000, a $5,000 grant for their schools and a six-day professional development institute with their principals at the Walt Disney World Resort. At the institute, teachers share ideas to refine their innovative teaching approaches and learn how to engage other teachers to build an effective collaborative teaching culture at their schools.

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