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2020 Prize for Teaching Excellence

Honoring Outstanding U.S. Public High School Skilled Trades Teachers

$1 Million in Prize Awards

2020 Finalists

Jay Abitz

Automotive and Collision Repair

Freedom High School, WI

Alfia Anderson


High School for Energy and Technology, NY

Betsy Anderton, Luke Stewart


Daphne High School, AL

Angela Arnett

Technical Theater

Escondido High School, CA

Thomas Aubin



Crystal Aukema


Marathon High School, NY

Kent Brady

Small Engine Equipment Technology

Dauphin County Technical School, PA

James “Jim” Buck


Wayne Technical and Career Center, NY

Shawn Burns

Mechatronics and Robotics

Burton Center for Arts and Technology, VA

Francis Carlson

Cabinet Making and Millwork

Bonners Ferry High School, ID

Benjamin Carpenter 


Kennedy High School, CA

Robert Caylor

Automotive Technology

Gulfport High School, MS

Kevin Cornell

Automotive Technology

Carver Career and Technical Center, WV

Dave Darden

Automotive Technology

Cedar Shoals High School, GA

Brian Diehl

Diesel Technology

Dauphin County Technical School, PA

David Gibson


Caprock High School, TX

John Gunderson


John Jay High School, TX

Jay Hales

Automotive Technology 

Riverton High School, UT

Josh Hall, Connor Lee Bratton

Construction and Agriculture

Statesboro High School, GA

Coley Hanes


Schuyler R-1 Schools, MO

Nicholas Jordan


Montecito High School, CA

Scott Leffler, Scott Frischmon, Ryan Dewey

Industrial Technology

Chisago Lakes High School, MN

Brian Manley

Automotive Technology

Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, CO

Stephen Marsh

Advanced Digital Manufacturing

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School, CA

Gary Mishica

Industrial Arts

Hancock High School, MI

Chris Mollkoy

Industrial Arts

Dos Pueblos High School, CA

Erik Mortensen


Watuaga High School, NC

Eric Morton

Skilled Trades Pre-Apprenticeship

Peninsula High School, WA

Robert Mroz, David Krawczyk


Potter Career and Technical Center, NY

Raul Ortega


Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center, TX

Hunter Parrott, Justin Smith, Mindy Howard

Agricultural Science

Troy High School, TX

Kelli Prescott


Lake Placid High School, FL

Thomas Ritchey


Central High School, PA

Andrew Saweikis



Mike Shallenberger


STEM School Highlands Ranch, CO

Michael Shephard


Union County Career and Technical Institute, NJ

Leif Sorgule

Technology and Engineering

Peru High School, NY

Chad Sutton

Construction Trades

Garrett High School, IN

Jeremy Tarbet


Canyon del Oro High School, AZ

Nicole Taylor


Warren Technical School, GA

Kyle Thompson


Middleton High School, FL

A.J. Tinker


Salem R-80 Schools, MO

Andrice Tucker, Steve Owen

Automotive Service Technology

Central Nine Career Center, IN

Brent Tuttle


La Mirada High School, CA

Robert Verone

Technical Theater

Lawrence High School, NY

Wayne Violet

Automotive Technology

Washington County Technical High School, MD

Jeff Webb


Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry, MI

Demetrius Wilson

Engineering, Robotics, and Mechatronics

Oakland County Technical Schools Northeast, MI

Kathryn Worley

Industrial Technology

West Hills High School, CA

Travis Wyrick


Visalia Technical Early College, CA

To read brief biographies of all the finalists, click here. To access press releases for each state, click here

2018 Learning Modules

Play Video

Learning Module 1:

Conveying the Rewards of a Skilled Trades Career

Play Video

Learning Module 2:

Student-Designed Learning for the Skilled Trades

Play Video

Learning Module 3:

Soft Skills for Skilled Trades Students

Play Video

Learning Module 4:

Forging Stronger Ties with Business

Reading #1

Conveying the Rewards of a Skilled Trades Career

Reading #2

Student-Designed Learning for the Skilled Trades

Reading #3

Soft Skills for Skilled Trades Students

Reading #4

Forging Stronger Ties with Business

2018 Final Round Judges

Dan Belcher

Director of Workforce Development

National Center for Construction Education and Research; Build Your Future

Carey Chen


American Welding Society

Sarah Heath

Associate Provost

Colorado Community College System

Dr. Terry Holliday

Board Chairman

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Bob Kilmer

2017 Grand Prize Winner

Enumclaw High School (WA)

Kayleen McCabe

Contractor, TV Host, Advocate for Trades Education

McCabe Foundation

Ivana Nunez

Electrical Teacher

Queens Vocational and Technical High School (NY)

Phenna Petty

Career Technical and Agriculture (CTAE) Director (Retired)

Murray County (GA) Schools

Beau Pollock

President and CEO

TRIO Electric

Gina Riggs

Past President (2017-2018)


Ryan Smith

Chief External Officer

Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

Cheri Walsh

Executive Director

Exploring the Arts

2018 Round 2 Judges

Roxanne Amiot

2017 Prize Second Place Winner

Kimberly Bertocci

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Elyse Burden

Real World Scholars

Sarah Burtner

California Department of Finance

Gerald Chaleff

Los Angeles Police Department (Ret.)

Jason Drake

Workroom Program Alliance

Eric Hill


Dave Huffman

2017 Prize Second Place Winner

Chris Ko

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Anita Landecker


Tana Lee

Richland School District One (SC)

Margaret Lester

Registered Nurse Practitioner (Ret.)

Scott Mayotte

2017 Prize Second Place Winner

Amanda Nolasco

Phoenix Union School District

Stephanie Owen

National Wood Flooring Association

David Tiensvold

CoorsTek Inc.

Patrick Wadsworth

2017 Prize Second Place Winner

Randy Williamson

2017 Prize Second Place Winner

2018 Round 1 Judges

A special thanks to our colleagues at the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for their stewardship of this Round.

Alex Gromada

Southern Illinois Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program

Barb Schult

Linn-Mar School District (IA)

Bob Baird

Independent Electrical Contractors Association

Candice Mott

DC Public Schools

Colleen Kennehan

Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools (GA)

Dan Smith

Minnesota Department of Education

Dawn Lindsley


Debbie Moore

Deer Valley Unified School District (AZ)

Dean Baker

Francis Tuttle Career Tech Center (OK)

Dennis Harden

Missouri Department of Education

Gary Moore

North Carolina State University (ret.)

H. Roger Fulk

Wright State University

Heather Singmaster

Asia Society

Jan Bray

Bray Strategies

Jeff Travers

Butler Technical Center (OH)

Jill Ranucci

Manor Independent School District (TX)

Jon Quatman

Great Oaks Career Campuses (OH)

Kathy Cullen

Wisconsin Technical College System (WI)

Kelly Almond

Fulton County Schools (GA)

Kimberly Mitchell

Talladega County Schools (AL)

Maggie Hess

Ohio CTE Administrators Association

Martha Rotman Snider


Mary Jo Self

Oklahoma State University

Michele Macfarlane

College of Southern Idaho

Rachael Mann


Rebecca Pierce

Alabama ACTE

Robin McLean

Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School (MD)

Rod Boyes

Today’s Class

Ross Arnold

California ACTE (ret.)

Sherry Adrian

Francis Tuttle Career Tech Center (OK)

Toby Klinger

Johnson County Community College (KS)

Warren Lupson

Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Accreditation

Wayne Kutzer

North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education (ret.)