CHENANGO FORKS, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A teacher at Chenango Forks was a finalist in the running to be awarded the title, New York State Board of Regents Teacher of the Year.

Nichole Hantsch teaches 8th grade physical science and agriculture at Chenango Forks.

She was recognized in Albany yesterday by the Board of Regents committee and other distinguished teachers.

She says that to be considered, there is a long application process that requires letters of recommendation from students and faculty, several written essay prompts, and interviews.

Hantsch says that she promotes building charisma and character in her classes. She believes that if you can grow as a person, the schooling will come.

8th Grade Physical Science Teacher at Chenango Forks High School, Nichole Hantsch says, “The person first and the learning second. Because of that, I’m interested in what my students are interested in. And I’m going to bring that into the classroom, so that they can learn in the best way possible, and so that, they want to be here and they want to be learning what we’re learning about because it relates back to them in something they can do.”

She says that she is lucky to have taught students ranging from 4th up to 10th grade, all from a variety of backgrounds.

The Teacher of the Year award ended up going to a teacher in Rochester’s public school system.

Hantsch says that she’ll be back next year with the hopes of winning the whole thing.