Bibb educator is finalist for Georgia Teacher of Year

Teaching has been the most challenging yet most rewarding part of Dominique Nichols’ life.

The Bibb County educator was selected as the district’s 2017 Teacher of the Year in October, and now he’s a top 10 finalist for 2018 Georgia Teacher of the Year.

Nichols, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Fort Valley State University and master’s degree at Georgia College, has been at Westside High School since 2013. He teaches world literature and AP literature and composition, and he has taught other English and language arts courses in the past.

“I’ve never been more honored in my life,” Nichols said in a statement. “Each day I am presented with the opportunity to invest in the life and future of young people. Each day I have the chance to be a beacon of light, love, and hope for children and my colleagues.

“I chose education as a profession because of the endless opportunities to gain wealth. Not material or financial wealth, but the continuous dividends returned from the countless investments made in the lives of children.”

The 2018 Georgia winner will be announced later this spring. A few other area teachers have won the state award in the past. Lauren Eckman, an English language arts teacher at Georgia Academy for the Blind, was the 2013 Teacher of the Year. The 2015 honor went to Amanda Miliner, formerly a fourth-grade teacher at Miller Elementary in Houston County.

The Bibb County school district has had two state Teachers of the Year: Betty Phillips in 1975 and Jadun McCarthy in 2012. Nichols is the second state finalist in three years, with Brian Butler making the list two years ago.

Andrea Honaker: 478-744-4382, @TelegraphAndrea