Forty-four outstanding educators will be honored at the 42nd annual Educator of the Year awards ceremony Friday in St. Charles.

Hosted by the Kane County Regional Office of Education, awards will be presented to the county's top educator, and finalists in the categories of top early career, preschool, elementary, middle school and high school educators, school administrator, student support personnel, and educational service personnel.

It's largest contingent of nominees in the awards' history, said Mike Ademe, regional office spokesman.

Last year's Kane County Educator of the Year was Holly Yee, a seventh-grade science teacher at Ellis Middle School in Elgin, who was among 29 educators honored in 2016.

The 1980s-themed banquet begins at 6 p.m. at the Q Center, 1405 N. Fifth Ave. The overall Educator of the Year award winner will receive a $3,000 grant from the regional office for use in the classroom or toward further education. The recipient also will get a personalized director's chair, an engraved Bulova clock, and $200 from the Kane County Credit Union. All nominees will receive an engraved plaque.

"At the 42nd Kane County Educator of the Year Awards, we will celebrate our 44 nominees and all educators for their education, leadership, assistance, and inspiration in our schools and for our students," regional Superintendent Pat Dal Santo said.

To purchase tickets for the banquet, contact local school district offices.