Amber Nichols

2023 West Virginia Teacher of the Year announced

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) announced Amber Nichols as the 2023 West Virginia Teacher of the Year during a ceremony Tuesday night. WVBE President L. Paul Hardesty and West Virginia Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach were joined by members of the State Board of Education for the announcement at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston during the Celebration of Excellence in Education: Honoring the 2023 Teacher and School Service Personnel of the Year.

Amber Nichols is a kindergarten teacher at Eastwood Elementary School in Morgantown, West Virginia. She has taught for 21 years and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Shepherd College and a Master of Arts in Education from West Virginia University. Nichols is an active member of Eastwood Elementary’s leadership, curriculum and behavior intervention teams, and she mentors future educators. She always strives to set rigorous academic and social-emotional goals for each child in her class and prides herself on creating an enriching classroom environment in which all students feel safe, loved and appreciated. Nichols also enjoys writing and spending time with her husband, three children and two dogs.

“Mrs. Nichols is an excellent educator and a true representative of the incredible teachers across the state. She fully embodies the qualities and intent of this prestigious award,” said Superintendent Roach. “She cares deeply for her students and community and I believe she will be an inspiration for many. I appreciate her diligent work in our public schools.”

The 2023 TOY finalists include:

Sarah BaileyBuffalo Middle SchoolWayne County
Lisa BryantPoint Pleasant Primary SchoolMason County
Charity MarstillerJefferson High SchoolJefferson County
David PatrickDuPont Middle SchoolKanawha County
Angel ReedFairplain Elementary SchoolJackson County
Shawna SafreedBridge Street Middle SchoolOhio County
Cameron ShannonCrescent Elementary SchoolRaleigh County
Tanya StewartGilmer County Elementary SchoolGilmer County
Shari TonkeryLumberport Elementary SchoolHarrison County

West Virginia has one of the longest and most consistent Teacher of the Year programs in the nation. The goal is to identify and recognize the importance and impact of teachers in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the Mountain State. By recognizing those who bring honor to the profession, the WVDE pays tribute to the exceptional work occurring daily in schools across the state.

As the 2023 winner, Nichols will receive a vehicle for use throughout the year from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia; $5,000 from both Highmark West Virginia and the Horace Mann Companies; a $1,000 classroom grant from the West Virginia Education Association; a two-night stay at Tygart Lake State Park from West Virginia State Parks; a $250 Amazon gift card from West Virginia Professional Educators; and $500 from the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia. Each finalist receives a $300 Donors Choose classroom grant from the Horace Mann Companies and a $25 gift card from Adams Hallmark. Each county winner receives a $300 classroom grant from the West Virginia Lottery and a piece of art from Blenko Glass Company.

To view the full ceremony, please visit the YouTube livestream from West Virginia Public Broadcasting or WVDE’s Facebook page.

Information about the WVDE Teacher and Service Personnel of the Year programs as well as pictures of year’s winners are listed on the WVDE website.



The Brushy Fork Event Center is ready to host everything from elegant weddings to corporate conferences. And when things don't go exactly as planned, the skilled staff is ready do what it takes to ensure every event is a success.

City ponders path forward as CVB relinquishes management of the Event Center at Brushy Fork

BUCKHANNON – Starting in April, a new entity will be managing the Event Center at Brushy Fork – but just who that is remains in flux after a lengthy discussion at Buckhannon City Council’s meeting Thursday explored several potential options, […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Support Your Local Restaurants: The Links

By the Secret Chef If you believe life is too short to cook all the time (or maybe never 😉), The Links Restaurant located in the historic Buckhannon Country Club, now open to the public,


Basketball ‘Cats score season-low 38 points in loss to Salem

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team lost a non-conference matchup to Salem on Wednesday night 74-38. The Bobcats were held to their lowest point total of the season, shooting 17-64 (27%)

WVWC softball picked to win MEC South Divison

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Frostburg State and West Virginia Wesleyan have been picked to win divisional championships during the 2023 Mountain East Conference softball season following a vote of the league’s head coaches. Frostburg State has been picked

Upshur County Sports Calendar

MONDAY (Feb. 6) Basketball TUESDAY (Feb. 7) Basketball Swimming WEDNESDAY (Feb. 8) Basketball Swimming THURSDAY (Feb. 9) Basketball Swimming FRIDAY (Feb. 10) Swimming Wrestling SATURDAY (Feb. 11) Acrobatics and Tumbling Basketball Wrestling SUNDAY (Feb. 12)