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Article updated: 11/9/2012 5:26 AM

Talk with the Editor: Help us identify great teachers

By John Lampinen

We want to celebrate outstanding teachers.

The suburbs have scores of them, and the good they do is vital to the future of our kids and to the future of the region as a whole.

Outstanding teachers inspire; they ignite curiosity and a lifetime love of learning; they intervene with troubled kids; they provide bridges to greatness; they prepare youngsters for tomorrow's world, tomorrow's opportunities, tomorrow's challenges.

They matter greatly, and unfortunately, some of that seems to get lost these days.

Teacher pay and pensions are controversial subjects in the political arena and with government budgets strained in every direction, the topic certainly is a government policy matter worthy of public debate.

But that's dollars and cents. No matter what your view is on that issue, it shouldn't obscure your appreciation of the job teachers do.

We want to shine a spotlight on that. We intend to tell the stories of The Suburbs' Top Teachers, who they are, what makes them good, how they do what they do. We aim to make them tributes to education and role models for other educators. I'm guessing these will be stories that inspire.

To get started, we're looking for your recommendations. Email us at bestteachers@dailyherald.com or send a letter to Best Teachers, Daily Herald, P.O. Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006.

Give us the teacher's name, school and what he or she does there. Tell us what sets this teacher apart from other good teachers, and be as specific as possible. Tell a story that illustrates why this teacher is so good. If you know of any awards this person has received, include them. Include your name and contact information in case we have follow-up questions.

All levels of teachers are eligible -- from preschool to college, from public schools to special needs schools, alternative schools and private schools.

The suburbs have a lot of great teachers. Help us celebrate them.

(We encourage you to talk with the editor by clicking on the Comments widget and providing your response to today's column. We want a provocative discussion but one that also abides by general rules of civility ... Please also consider friending John on Facebook by searching John Lampinen Daily Herald and following him on Twitter @DHJohnLampinen.)

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