June 17, 2019
Application deadline for Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence
Teachers and teacher teams can apply at https://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/ through June 17.
Apply now for the 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which will award cash prizes totaling $1 million to 18 of America's best public high school skilled trades teachers or teacher teams and their programs.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt. The prize recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the valuable work of teachers who inspire students to learn a trade that prepares them for life after graduation.
The 2019 prize will award more than $1 million to 18 public high school skilled trades teachers or teacher teams and their programs. Three first-place winners will each receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their high school skilled trades program and $30,000 directly to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team. Fifteen second-place winners will each win $50,000, with $35,000 going to the high school program and $15,000 to the teacher/team. Teachers whose school, district, or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings are eligible to apply on behalf of their school's skilled trades program.
More than 1,200 teachers from 49 states applied in the first two years of the prize, and more than 100 teachers have been recognized as winners or semi-finalists. Their winnings have supported programs that serve more than 11,000 students. Previous applicants have taught a variety of skilled trades including automotive technology, welding, carpentry, agriculture mechanics, advanced manufacturing, plumbing, and HVAC repair. Previous winners have helped their students build mobility scooters for the elderly, operate a full-service, licensed auto repair facility that serves customers, and design, construct and sell a home.
The application process and the prize are designed to give teachers access to ideas and practices through a network of likeminded exceptional educators and leaders. Applicants are asked to review and respond to a series of online expert-led video learning modules.
There will be three rounds of judging, each scored by independent panels of reviewers. Applicants ranking in the top 50 will be announced on July 17. They will advance to a semi-finalist round and will be asked to complete a second set of learning modules. The semifinalists will then be narrowed to the top 18. Three first-place and 15 second-place winners will be announced on Oct. 24. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools does not determine the semifinalists or winners.
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