CALABASAS, Calif. – A construction teacher from Washington, an advanced manufacturing teacher from California and a marine systems technology teacher from New York are the first-place winners of the inaugural Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools announced today. The three teachers and their schools will each receive $100,000.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in United States public high schools, awarded $510,000 to the three first-place winners and seven second-place winners. Harbor Freight Tools made additional donations totaling $44,000 to 44 semi-finalists.
The first-place winners are Bob Kilmer, who teaches woodworking, computer-aided design and architecture and construction at Enumclaw High School in King County, Washington; Brendan Malone, who teaches marine systems technology at Urban Assembly New York Harbor School in Brooklyn; and Jonathan Schwartz, who teaches advanced manufacturing at Colfax High School in Placer County, California.
"We're thrilled to celebrate these remarkable teachers for inspiring their students to stay in school and develop skills that can lead to great paying jobs that are so important to our economy," said Eric Smidt, CEO and owner of national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools and founder of The Smidt Foundation, which established and operates Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. "We created this prize to shine a spotlight on excellent skilled trades teaching and to attract investment in these classes so a strong skilled trades education can once again be available to public high school students across America."
Drawn from a field of nearly 700 applicants from across the country, the three first-place winners will each receive $30,000, and their schools will each receive $70,000 to support their skilled trades programs.
The following seven second-place winners will each receive $10,000, and their high schools will receive $20,000 for their skilled trades programs:
Roxanne Montarro Amiot
Bullard-Havens Technical High School
Teaching team: Gerald “Dave” Huffman and Patrick Wadsworth
Gulfport High School
Construction, Technology Education
Sheboygan Falls High School
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Concord Regional Technical Center
Concord, New Hampshire
Teaching team: Cole Smith and Bill Hartman
Rancho Cotate High School
Rohnert Park, California
Robert David White
Parkside High School
Williamsport Area High School Career and Technical Education
"All 10 of these winners are exemplary, and the ultimate winners are their students," said Robin Kramer, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. "These teachers combine their considerable skill and creativity with dedication and zeal for learning-- all for the benefit of their students and their futures. Their practices and results offer valuable approaches that other skilled trades teachers can adapt and use in their own programs. We look forward to bringing together all of them next summer so they can get to know each other's work up close, and share strategies to promote excellence for the field at our first 'Let's Build It Institute.'"
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was designed to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspires students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.
For more information, visit Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.