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2017 Prize for Teaching Excellence

Honoring U.S. Public High School Skilled Trades Teachers

Who Make Sparks Fly

$500,000 in Prizes to Help Build Industrial Strength Classrooms for the 21st Century

“The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence is the pinnacle of prizes for skilled trades teachers and its future growth will be a welcome boost to engaging industrial and technical education teachers in both material support and instructional best practices.”-Matt Erbach, Precision Manufacturing Teacher, Streamwood High School, IL

2017 Grand Prize Winners

Bob Kilmer

Construction & Architecture

Enumclaw High School, WA

Brendan Malone

Marine Systems Technology

Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, NY

2017 Prize Winners

Ed Hughes

Technology Education

Sheboygan Falls High School, WI

Scott Mayotte

Automotive Technology

Concord Regional Technical Center, NH

2017 Finalists

Thomas Aubin



Bobby Bard

Auto Technology

Franklin County Career & Technical Center, PA

Jim Barnett


South Garland High School, TX

Stephen Beattie


West Milford Township High School, NJ

Ryan Beckley


East Syracuse Minoa Central High School, NY

Adam Bourne

Electric & Carpentry

The NET Charter School, LA

Louis Bramante


Vineland Senior High School, NJ

Jeff Canterbury


Washington County Career Center, OH

Michael Castleberry


Locklin Technical High School, FL

Jeff Cesari

Outdoor Power Equipment

Bucks County Technical High School, PA

Brian Collier and Tristan Kumor


Ridgewood High School, IL

Scott Combs


Eastern Monroe Career Center, NY

Robin Coyne

Auto Technology

Monterey High School, CA

Travis Crate


Venango Technology Center, PA

 Wes Crawford and Josh Gary

Welding, Woods, Agriscience

Sutherlin High School, OR

Brad Dement


Delaware Career Center, OH

Jerry Eaton

Manufacturing Technology

Meeks Professional Technical High School, OR

Matt Erbach

Precision Manufacturing

Streamwood High School, IL

Michael Fleming

 Auto Technology

Monte Vista High School, CA

Kory Fontes

Agriculture Mechanics

Nipomo High School, CA

Ken Gandy, Ed Hensley, and Gary Pommier

Auto, Welding

Olathe Advanced Technical Center, KS

Daniel Gersbach and Daniel Bradley

Manufacturing, Welding

Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center, NY

Lukas Gill

Construction, Woodworking

Holland Central Schools, NY

Robert Harris


Jordan Vocational High School, GA

RJ Horacek, Galen Wilson, and Krysten Renihan

Aviation Technology

Westfield Technical Academy, MA

Brian Kurszewski

Machine Tool & Welding

New London High School, WI

Andrew Lamer


Mingus Union High School, AZ

Brian Marvin

Construction, Welding, Automotive, and Aviation

Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center, AK

Joel Massarello


Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northwest, MI

Jeff Merker

Building Trades Carpentry and Framing

Sheldon High School, CA

Anthony Migliorini


Northview High School, IN

Don Murrell


Garden City High School, KS

Timothy Regan and Mark Levy

Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical, Masonry

Bergen County Technical Schools, NJ

Bryan Ringsted

Tech Theatre

Campbell Union High School, CA

Amancio Rodriguez

Metal Fabrication and Machining

Jonny G. Economedes High School, TX

Tom Rose


Bagdad High School, AZ

Steve Schertz

Automotive Technology

South Elgin High School, IL

Ronald Skaggs and Justin Martzke

Green Construction

Norte Vista High School, CA

Brian Sneed


Cordova High School, TN

Gregory Stephanos


Leominster High School Center for Technical Education, MA

George Wertz


Deming High School, NM

Rick Burton

Auto Collision and Repair

Greene County Career Center, OH

Joseph Wolfe

Electrical Engineering

Thomas Edison High School, VA

Keith Yow

Furniture and Cabinet Making

Cedar Ridge High School, NC

2017 Final Round Judges

Phenna Petty

Career Technical and Agriculture (CTAE) Director (Retired)

Murray County (GA) Schools

Dan Belcher

Director of Workforce Development

National Center for Construction Education and Research; Build Your Future

Dr. Sarah Heath

Assistant Provost for Career and Technical Education

Colorado Community College System

Dr. Terry Holliday

Board Chairman

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Gary Weese

Automotive Technology Instructor

Caddo Career & Technology Center

Antwan Wilson

Former Chancellor

D.C. Public Schools

Dr. Joel Vargas

VP of School and Learning Design

Jobs for the Future

Thanks to Our Rounds 1 & 2 Judges

Kevin Acebo

Dr. Ryan Anderson

Alan Arkatov

Rebecca Avila

Nathanael Balon

Mark Bell

Hannah Berson

Laurie Bricker

Sarah Burtner

Joe Campbell

Gerald Chaleff

Ken Chawkins

Brian Chunglo

Michael Connet

Zoe Corwin

Melanie J Cotton

Greg Donovan

Jason Drake

Karen Ellis

Cecilia Estolano

Mark Feuerbach

Trey Filer

Jessica Flores

Terri Freund

Daniela Gerson

Gail Goldberg

Stacey Hervey

Chris Hoffman

Nike Irvin

Pamela Kaizer

Tae Kang

Brent Kindred

Geraldine Knatz

Robin Kramer

Brent Kindred

Margaret Lester

Stephanie Levin

Lowell Matthews

Bernard McCune

Tiffany Morse

Joel Noble

Amanda Nolasco

Ellen Pais

Claire Peeps

Luz Rivas

Maddy Roth

Tara Roth

Martha Rotman Snider

Heather Singmaster

Ryan Smith

Scott Springer

Adam Steece

Scott Stump

Louise Stymeist

David Tiensvold

Brad Vickers

Cheri Walsh

Erin Walsh