CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The winner of the 2023 West Virginia Teacher of the Year award has been announced. According to the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the West Virginia Board of Education, Amber Nichols was given the titular award during a ceremony Tuesday night.

The announcement was given 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.

2023 West Virginia Teacher of the Year recipient Amber Nichols

Amber Nichols is a kindergarten teacher at Eastwood Elementary School in Morgantown. With a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Shepherd College and a Master of Arts in Education from West Virginia University in hand, she has taught for 21 years. Nichols is a part of the schools leadership, curriculum and behavior intervention teams, and she mentors future educators. She 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

The West Virginia Teacher of the Year program is meant to show the importance and impact of teachers in the Mountain State.

For her efforts, 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.

The ceremony can be watched by visiting 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 and its winners can be found on the WVDE website.

For more information, contact Christy Day at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at (304)-558-2699 or