Eastwood Elementary School celebrates West Virginia Teacher of the Year

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - A local teacher recently received a big honor.

Amber Nichols was named West Virginia teacher of the year. She teaches kindergarten at Eastwood Elementary in Morgantown. Nichols is a West Virginia native and began teaching in 2001.

The school is celebrating a spirit week dedicated to her.

Nichols says she was shocked when she won, but childhood education has always been her calling.

“They love me because I’m Mrs. Nichols, not because I’m teacher of the year which is exactly what I want,” said Nichols. “To get to be someone’s person is a huge responsibility, but its such a gift -- so to me the most important part of teaching is getting to be someone’s role model or their example.”

However, the principal of Eastwood Elementary was not as surprised.

DeAnn Hartshorn said she knew in her heart Nichols would win.

“When they were getting ready to name the winner I actually had my camera phone up and ready to take her picture because I just knew they were going to say her name,” said Hartshorn.

Hartshorn went on to say Nichols goes above and beyond as a teacher to get students and their families what they need.

Now, Nichols says her new responsibilities bring her beyond just her own classroom.

“I really want to go around the state and promote teacher recruitment and retention -- that’s the message I really want to spread around the state,” said Nichols. “We really need to attract good people into our classrooms and make them feel appreciated and loved so we can keep them here.”

Later this year, Nichols will go on to see if she can win the National Teacher of the Year Award.