By Elaine Aradillas
Updated April 12, 2012 11:00 AM
Brian Smale

Favorite teachers are remembered for a lifetime. PEOPLE magazine wants to highlight those amazing teachers by announcing the first PEOPLE Teacher of the Year Award.

Five educators working in grades K-12, who are making a difference in their students’ lives, will be awarded a $5,000 prize, with support from our sponsor Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal.

Starting today, readers can download the application here and nominate their favorite teacher. Applications will be accepted through July 2, and the winners will be determined by PEOPLE’s editors and an independent panel of education professionals. The panel includes Kimberly Oliver Burnim, a prize-winning Maryland teacher; John Deasy, superintendent of L.A. Unified School District; Lily Eskelsen of the National Education Association; Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America; and Grammy-winning musician and philanthropist John Legend.

This week, PEOPLE showcases the daring teaching style of Wilson Arnold, a 34-year-old science teacher on the Makah Indian Reservation in Neah Bay, Wash. “The most rewarding part of my job are the relationships that I’ve developed with my students and their families,” he says. ” It’s really the little things that make teaching worth the effort.”

Download the application here to nominate an amazing teacher