A long school year is about to wind up, but we’d like to extend it for recognition of top students and teachers throughout Northwest Indiana.

How can we do that? With your help.

First, let’s talk about teachers. Thousands of them are making a difference in young lives every day in the Region.

Appropriately enough, during Teacher Appreciation Week, we started asking readers to tell us about their favorite teacher.

Why should a teacher be recognized? What did he/she do to stand out during this year?

A form is attached to this column at nwi.com for you to access, fill in and send. Or you can view the form directly at https://www.nwitimes.com/forms/teachers_appreciation/.

We welcome students, parents and school officials to nominate teachers, and we hope to hear about these classroom leaders from every school in the Region.

Already a few dozen teachers have been nominated, and the submissions are in a slideshow online and attached to this column.

We’ll recognize all of these teachers in print and online after commencement ceremonies, essentially extending the school year for readers in a great way.

We also want to recognize students past the school year. To do that, we’re sending letters to superintendents to forward to the right people in each district.

Every school has award ceremonies, and we’d like to recognize all honorees. We’re inviting school officials to send us their award lists and winners, along with photos. Any we receive will be posted at nwi.com.

We’re also inviting high school principals to send us their senior class leaders and their student commencement speeches. We’ll publish speeches and recognize the top students in print and online in June.

We’ve created easy-to-use submission forms for each of these requests, and those links are being sent to superintendents.

This is a new approach to celebrating education at the end of a Region school year, and we hope to receive a lot about teachers and students to share.

Let’s put education in the spotlight for all to celebrate.

You’ll see everything we receive — as well as graduation coverage and education stories throughout the year — posted to the NWI Education page on Facebook. You might connect with it today.

Thanks for reading us. Please contact me with any questions about The Times or our many publications.

Bob Heisse is editor of The Times Media Co. He can be reached at (219) 933-3327 or bob.heisse@nwi.com.

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Bob is editor of The Times Media Co. He started in Northwest Indiana in April 2014 following stints as executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.