SkillsUSA Instructors Announced as Finalists for the 2022 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence

Published: July 26, 2022
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Leesburg, Va., July 26, 2022 — Twenty-five SkillsUSA instructors are among 50 teachers and teacher teams from across the country who are finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools 2022 Prize for Teaching Excellence. Their high school trades programs are in the running for a share of $1.25 million in total cash awards. The SkillsUSA finalists include:
  • Alabama: Jason Blackwell, Industrial Maintenance, Escambia Career Readiness Center
  • Arizona: Andrew Lamer, Welding, Mingus Union High School
  • California: Andrew Bias, Manufacturing, Folsom High School
  • Colorado: Glenn Harrison, Manufacturing, Dr. Martin Luther King Early College
  • Florida: David Moye, Automotive Service Technology, Lyman High School; Kevin Finan, Machining, Atlantic Technical College & Technical High School
  • Georgia: Jeff Bearinger, Carpentry, Lumpkin County High School
  • Indiana: Andrice Tucker, Automotive Service Technology, Central Nine Career Center
  • Iowa: Clint Kobelt, Construction, Fort Madison Community School District
  • Mississippi: Kristie Jones, Construction and Carpentry, Franklin County Career and Technical Center
  • Missouri: Aaron Ervin, Welding, Pike Lincoln Technical Center; Jared Monroe, Automotive Technology, Columbia Area Career Center
  • New York: Brian McDonnell, Automotive Collision Repair, GST BOCES Coopers Education Center; John Stratton, Automotive Technology, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES
  • North Carolina: Joshua Bowles, Carpentry, Alexander Central High School
  • Oklahoma: Coty Green, Automotive Service Technology, Chisholm Trail Tech Center
  • Rhode Island: Chris Pilling, Construction, Burrillville High School
  • Tennessee: Brian Sneed, Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair, Cordova High School
  • Texas: Dallas Bergstrom, Manufacturing, Miller Career & Technology Center
  • Utah: Blair Jensen, Welding, Jordan Academy for Technology & Careers
  • Vermont: Seth Hungerford, Construction Technology, Cold Hollow Career Center
  • Washington: Bill Culver, Construction & Carpentry, Evergreen High School; Cory Torppa, Construction & Manufacturing, Kalama High School
  • West Virginia: Kevin Cornell, Automotive Technology, Carver Career and Technical Center
  • Wisconsin: Miles Tokheim, Automotive Technology, James Madison Memorial High School
To see all the finalists, go to: https://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/what-we-do/prize-for-teaching-excellence/2022-prize/. The 2022 finalists advance to a second round of competition which will narrow the field to 20 winners who will split $1.25 million in prizes. Five of those teachers will be grand prize recipients who each receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. The other 15 winners will each receive $50,000, with $35,000 going to their public high school program and $15,000 to the teacher or team. For finalists whose school, district and/or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual prize earnings, their entire prize will be awarded to the school. All winners will be announced in late October. The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 by Eric Smidt, the founder of national tool retailer. The prize recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the teachers who inspire students to learn a trade that prepares them for life after graduation. Now in the sixth year, more than 100,000 students have benefitted from the prize awards and $4.7 million in cash awards have been given through the program.

About SkillsUSA

Founded in 1965, SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry that empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. The SkillsUSA Framework of Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics inspires work and life success for students while helping industry close the skills gap currently leaving millions of skilled trade jobs unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s career competitions program and curricula, employers ensure schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s credentialing process, they can assess the career-readiness of their future employees. SkillsUSA’s membership of more than 330,000 students and instructors encompasses middle schools, high schools and college/postsecondary institutions in every state and three U.S. territories. SkillsUSA programming covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.

About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt, to advance excellent skilled trades education in public high schools across America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to drive a greater understanding of and investment in skilled trades education, believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Program. For more information: https://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org.

SkillsUSA Contacts

Jane Short or Karen Kitzel 703-777-8810 jshort@skillsusa.org or kkitzel@skillsusa.org

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Media Contacts

For more information about SkillsUSA, contact:

Jane A. DeShong Short

Senior Manager, Public Relations/Communications
703-737-0612

Karen Kitzel

Associate Director, Communications
703-737-0607

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