Tucson Magnet High School theater teacher Art Almquist is a finalist for People magazine’s Teacher of the Year award.

Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star 2010

Hurry — the deadline for putting Tucson’s  Art Almquist in the national spotlight is Sept. 5.

Almquist, Tucson Magnet High School’s much-honored theater teacher, is one of six finalists for People magazine’s Teacher of the Year award. If he wins — the magazine announces the winner in a fall issue — he gets a $5,000 award that  will be shared with the school. And some serious bragging rights. But he needs your vote to win. And voting ends next Thursday.

Here’s part of what the nomination says:

“Every child should have one teacher in their life like Art Almquist,” says Debi Chess Mabie, who credits the Tucson drama teacher with inspiring her son to stay in school. Over the last 17 years, Almquist, 45, has helped hundreds of at-risk students — some homeless, many from troubled homes — graduate and go on to college. He’s inspired thousands more to express themselves through improvisation and original written works.

You can read the whole nomination — and vote for Almquist — at specials.people.com/teacherofyear

Vote now. Vote often.