Local luminaries from the worlds of music, sports and television news are calling on New Yorkers to nominate top teachers, principals and other special school staffers for the Daily News Hometown Heroes in Education awards.The annual contest shines a light on the extraordinary people who work with the city’s 1.1 million school students but rarely receive recognition for their efforts.“Our teachers are often overlooked in their importance to society and the nurturing of our children,” said Darryl McDaniels, DMC of the legendary hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC, who grew up in Queens.“Teachers and educators need to be celebrated and honored and treated like one of the most vital components of our communities,” said McDaniels, a longtime supporter of the Hometown Heroes awards. “Teachers are true MVPs (Most Valuable People) and champions and all stars!”

New York Daily News ‘Hometown Heroes in Education’ rules

The contest is open to employees at New York City public, private and parochial schools. Nominations can be sent by email, mail or fax.

A panel of judges will select the winners, who will be honored at a breakfast in October.

New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker said teachers are vital role models for kids.

New York Mets' Neil Walker notes that a teacher's "positive influence" can help kids beyond the classroom.

New York Mets’ Neil Walker notes that a teacher’s “positive influence” can help kids beyond the classroom.


“Good teachers can help create good morals and values for kids in the classroom,” said Walker, whose mother once worked as a teacher. “Their positive influence not only works in the classroom, but can be applied in everyday life.”

The News is organizing the awards with the help of the city Department of Education, the United Federation of Teachers and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators.

Some nominees will be profiled in the pages of The News in the coming weeks.

“One thing that we look for as judges is teachers who recreate the magic year after year,” said NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan, a judge and host of the awards ceremony. “This may be the 10th year they’ve done something. But to the students, it’s the first time.”

Daily News searches for 2016’s Hometown Heroes in Education

“It’s also exciting to see nominations from people who aren’t a typical classroom teacher,” Kiernan added. “Sometimes it’s someone on the support staff who makes a huge difference for students. They create the environment that invites learning.”

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