Panera Bread announces Panera's Top Teachers video contest. Students are encouraged to submit nominations for outstanding teachers at from April 6 – May 1; winners will be announced during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11, 2012. Panera's Top Teachers aims to support local schools, as part of Panera Bread's dedication to supporting local communities.

Students ranging from preschool through 12th grade may upload a short video – one minute or less – to, explaining why their teacher deserves to be one of Panera's Top Teachers. Students may also submit a 100–200 word essay. Teachers must demonstrate leadership in the community, be honest, genuine, warm and welcoming, as well as present fresh, innovative and creative ideas to their students.

The community is encouraged to visit to vote for and share links of their favorite video or essay submission. Voting is open from April 6–May 4. To help a teacher's entry gain additional exposure and votes, participants are encouraged to engage Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in their efforts, and to "Like" Panera Bread on Facebook.

Three Grand Prize winning teachers from the Denver area, along with their nominating students, will each be awarded with a new 16GB Tablet. Additionally, the winning teachers' schools will receive a $1,000 grant, and the teachers will receive a $100 Panera Bread gift card and a bagel breakfast for their entire classroom.

"Teachers are truly unsung heroes, and we encourage students to recognize their Top Teachers in this fun, fresh and creative contest," said Craig Flom, President, Breads of the World, LLC, franchisee of Panera Bread. "As an organization focused on community, Panera Bread is proud to honor Denver teachers, who are every day sources of strength and inspiration in our schools."

Winning video and essay submissions are based on contest qualifications and number of votes, and are divided into three categories: Preschool–3, 4–8 and 9–12. Additionally, every student who enters will receive a coupon for a free freshly baked bagel (valid during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11, 2012). Teachers who visit and enter their information will receive a coupon for a free freshly baked bagel and brewed coffee, also valid during Teacher Appreciation Week.