A 1993 St. Bonaventure University alumnus who goes “above and beyond every day in the classroom” has been named the 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year.
Christopher Albrecht, a fourth-grade teacher at Fred W. Hill School in Brockport, was honored Tuesday by the Board of Regents at a ceremony in Albany.
Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia presented Albrecht with a certificate of recognition as well as the Thomas Sobol Award and the David Johnson Award, both created as annual gifts for recipients of the Teacher of the Year award.
“In his more than 20 years as an educator, Christopher Albrecht has served as an exemplary classroom teacher, proving to be a tremendous positive force in the lives of his students,” Rosa said.
“Every day he goes above and beyond to provide his students with the best learning experience possible. His dedication to fostering learning in the young minds of all children, whether in his classroom or community, make him especially deserving to be named the Teacher of the Year.”
Elia added: “Christopher Albrecht not only teaches academics, but helps build character, humor and a positive attitude in every student. He has a long history of service to his district, students and his community. Teaching offers a priceless gift — the chance to impact students’ lives — and Mr. Albrecht lives that gift each day.”
Albrecht, the 48th New York State Teacher of the Year, has taught at Fred W. Hill School for 20 years, the last 14 in fourth grade. He is a native of upstate New York and first discovered his passion for teaching when he worked as a camp counselor on Keuka Lake.
Albrecht’s boss raved about him.
“Chris is an outstanding practitioner and creates one of the best classroom environments you could ever hope to experience,” Fred W. Hill School Principal Brandon Broughton said. “Where he really separates himself even among exemplary educators is his dedication to the whole child and to building a deep relationship with both his students and their families. Being in his classroom can be a life-changing experience for a child. I have witnessed him dedicate a great deal of his own time to helping students reach their personal goals both in the classroom and beyond.”
Albrecht earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Bonaventure in 1993, and his master’s degree in elementary education from Clarion University.
While at Clarion, Albrecht worked as a graduate assistant at a time when the internet was first being pioneered in classrooms. Shortly after graduating, he was hired to teach a newly formed technology program at a school in West Virginia. There, he created a first-of-its-kind, fully integrated technology curriculum involving the internet.
At Fred W. Hill, Albrecht spent 20 years on English Language Arts curriculum development committees, founded the Hill School Spelling Bee, mentored 11 student teachers and four first-year teachers, and founded the Hill School yearbook committee, which he still advises. Albrecht also coached high school baseball for 14 years and soccer for five years.
In 2015, Albrecht began an afterschool running program for fourth- and fifth-grade students with a focus on building self-confidence in special needs children. This team has grown from 5 to 19 students with all students completing a 5K road race.
In the community, Albrecht sits on the Board of Trustees for the Western Monroe Historical Society and is a trustee on the Board of the Clarkson Historical Society. Albrecht served for six years on the Board of YMCA Camp Cory.
As a self-taught geologist focused on paleontology, he is a frequently requested presenter by the Rochester Academy of Sciences, the Rochester Lapidary Society and, in 2016, was the keynote speaker at the annual convention for the Eastern Federation of Mineralogists.
In the coming year, Albrecht will serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state and will be the New York State nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.
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