A Bibb County teacher didn't take home the gold, but he did earn the honor of being the runner-up for the state's teacher of the year award.
Out of 10 finalists, Dominique Nichols is the only teacher from central Georgia.
Because of his passion and interactive teaching methods, Nichols was named the runner up for Georgia's Teacher of the Year.
"I really did put forth effort, because I really did want to represent Bibb County in a major way, and so it was a really really exciting experience I'm still living in the surreal moment," Nichols said.
Nichols has taught English Literature and Composition for four years, and he says in a world of social media and pop culture... traditional ways of teaching just don't cut it.
Trying to keep his methods fresh with things like Twitter Tuesday, he posts an interactive question on Twitter and allows the class to have open discussion on a topic.
"Sometimes we will go outside and we'll just sit out in the sun and have conversation. Just to change up the classroom atmosphere, so every day is a unique day. Every day I'm looking to make that day the best instructional day possible," Nichols said.
Nichols says this helps encourage each student to chase after their dreams.
"So I try to build a culture in my classroom where once you're in here, you are a part of the family and once you leave, you will always have what I planted," he said.
Last year, Nichols won Bibb County's teacher of the year award, but he says the real reward is not just teaching English, but life lessons.
"Teaching English is the vehicle that I get to use to be able to inspire students to follow their dreams, to believe the absolute impossible, and to go after those things that they might feel are unattainable," he said.
Westside High School's principal Julia Daniely says at 25-years-old, Nichols is the youngest faculty member at the high school.
She says she couldn't be prouder of all Nichols has accomplished in the four years he's been teaching at school.
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