YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A local teacher was honored at the White House on Monday.

Melissa Kmetz is a third-grade language arts teacher at Lakeview Elementary School in Cortland. She is also the 2023 Ohio Teacher of the Year.

Monday, she attended the White House Teachers of the Year Celebration.

She is a fierce advocate for a culturally diverse curriculum, global education and student leadership.  

Kmetz shared her message for teachers and policymakers.

“Truly see each child, because if we can’t say to a child, ‘I see you,’ then we need to say, ‘I failed you,’ and no one wants to do that as an educator,” she said.

President Joe Biden thanked all of the teachers for their commitment to what he called a difficult profession that has gotten even harder over the years.