CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A local teacher has been named this year’s “Ohio Teacher of the Year.”

Melissa Kmetz, a third-grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary School in Cortland was honored by her school Tuesday after receiving the statewide honor.

Kmetz is in her 17th year as an English language arts teacher.

She is best known for making connections that go beyond the classroom. In addition to her instructional role, Kmetz frequently leads community service projects and is also an advocate for student leadership/activism.

In 2010, she developed a Change the World Project in her school district, where for the past 12 years, Lakeview students have been activists, spearheading charity projects to benefit those in need near and abroad.

“The staff here is incredible. Everyone in this building. They are all truly champions for kids. The families are so supportive, and it just really is a second home,” Kmetz said.

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’s website.