For those who want to applaud their teachers with more than apples on their desks, nominations are open until Tuesday for the state's Teacher of the Year, the award for exemplary educators.

The honor, organized by statewide teachers' union Education Minnesota, is "the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education," according to Education Minnesota's website.

A selection committee that includes state leaders in education, business and government picks the Teacher of the Year from nominated people who then decide to become candidates for the award.

The state's Teacher of the Year gets to celebrate at a May ceremony at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, and competes for a National Teacher of the Year title. Teachers awarded the top Minnesota award have gone on to win National Teacher of the Year four times.

To be eligible, candidates have to teach and work at least 50 percent of the time with students, have a bachelor's degree and Minnesota teaching license, finish three years of teaching by Tuesday and plan to teach in the 2017-2018 school year. More detailed requirements are here, and the nomination form is here

Anyone can nominate a teacher, and teachers can self-nominate, too.