BROCKPORT, N.Y. -- Christopher Albrecht returned from Albany Tuesday Evening to a surprise from his students.

Many of the fourth graders he teaches, and some who have already moved on, decorated his door in anticipation of his return. The educator from the Fred Hill Elementary School in Brockport, had just returned with the New York State Teacher of the Year Award.

Regardless of his success, Albrecht's path hasn't always been so clear. In 1989, he turned down an opportunity to attend the Unite States Air Force Academy in Colorado, and decided to pursue teaching instead. Fortunately, he found his passion in pursuing a teaching degree at St. Bonaventure University. He would spend three years teaching in West Virginia, before the Fairport Native would move to Brockport, where he has taught for the past 20 years.

Many of his previous students say that as a teacher, he would entertain their enthusiasm, and empower them to pursue subjects that where of interest to them.

"I was talking about how a wild species of Panda was brown” said Isaac Allen, a former student of Albrecht’s. "And he related that to genetics, so we talked about genetics, and I think most teachers wouldn't even think to talk about that."

As for his current students, despite being in the beginning of the school year and only the first few weeks, he says that things are coming along smoothly. When asked about his award, Albrecht could only reflect on his experiences.

"20 years of teaching at the Hill school and three years of teaching down in West Virginia, I couldn't have asked for a better life,” Albrecht said. “My dreams have been fulfilled and this award is just the icing on one heck of a great career happening to me."

Albrecht will continue to teach his fourth graders at Fred Hill Elementary School in Brockport, but will also travel and visit other teachers around the state, to share ideas on how better to inspire children.

Albrecht not only teaches in Brockport. He calls it home too, where he lives with his wife and three children.