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Media Releases

Ohio Department of Education Press Releases Banner for Ohio Teacher of the Year

Lakeview Local Schools educator named 2023 Ohio Teacher of the Year

Release date: 9/27/2022

Cortland, OH – Melissa Kmetz, a third grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary School in Lakeview Local Schools, has been named the 2023 Ohio Teacher of the Year. Interim State Superintendent of Public Instruction Stephanie Siddens made the surprise public announcement today during a schoolwide assembly at Lakeview Elementary School. 

With nearly two decades as an educator, Kmetz is beginning her 17th year teaching English language arts to Lakeview Elementary students. During her time at Lakeview Elementary, she is known for making learning connections that go beyond the classroom.  

In addition to her instructional role, Kmetz frequently leads projects that connect school, families and the community. Each year her students participate in projects to uplift and help others while educating students about the world. Throughout her career, these projects have included support globally to help those experiencing hunger, helping individuals impacted by natural disasters, helping with the wishes of terminally ill children, creating comfort kits for children in foster care and supporting local animal shelters. 

“Melissa Kmetz is a remarkable teacher who opens up worlds of wonder for her students and embodies educational excellence in Ohio,” Siddens said. “She gives students the building blocks to be lifelong learners and shows how they can make a positive difference for their classmates, neighbors and individuals across the globe. She takes time to build relationships with every child and their families and connects her classroom lessons to projects that demonstrate real-world problem-solving, kindness and care.”  

“It’s a proud day in Ohio to honor Melissa Kmetz and recognize the passion and dedication she brings to children and families,” State Board of Education President Charlotte McGuire said. “She is a shining example of guiding students in their learning and using classroom knowledge as a jumping off point to lessons in compassion and making meaningful contributions at school and in the world.” 

About Melissa Kmetz   

Melissa Kmetz grew up in Campbell, OH and graduated from Campbell Memorial High School. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education and earned a Master of Science in Education degree with a specialty in reading, both from Youngstown State University. Kmetz began her teaching career in the Salem City School District, where she taught kindergarten and first grade. She began teaching in Lakeview Local Schools in the fall of 2006. 

About the Ohio Teacher of the Year Program  

Earlier this year, school administrators, fellow educators, parents, students and community members nominated teachers for Ohio’s State Board District Teacher of the Year awards. In August, Kmetz received the State Board District 7 Teacher of the Year award – one of 10 teachers statewide to receive the district-level honor. From the field of 10, Kmetz was one of four teachers named as a finalist for the statewide award. As the state teacher of the year, Kmetz will represent Ohio in the 2023 National Teacher of the Year selection sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. 

The Ohio Teacher of the Year program began in 1964. Details about the selection process, the list of previous recipients and additional program information are available on the Ohio Department of Education website