As part of its Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, Harbor Freight Tools awarded over $500,000 to outstanding American skilled trades teachers and their respective high schools.
The top three winners all received $100,000 - $70,000 of which went to the high school and $30,000 of which went to the teacher. The winners were:
- Bob Kilmer teaches woodworking, computer-aided design, and architecture and construction at Enumclaw High School in Washington. His students are designing and building a tiny house for a local family in need.
- Brendan Malone teaches marine systems technology at Urban Assembly New York Harbor School on Governors Island. His program teaches his students to build, maintain and repair boats, and his school is the only high school in the country that can credential students for a career in the marine industry.
- Jonathan Schwartz teaches advanced manufacturing and woodworking at Colfax High School in Northern California. His students use software to design wood projects and then build them with traditional shop tools, CNC equipment, 3D printers and laser cutters.
The company also awarded seven second-place winners with $30,000 each, with $20,000 going to the schools and $10,000 to the teachers. In addition, $1,000 gift cards were given to 44 semifinalists.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence is personal to me," says Harbor Freight Founder Eric Schmidt. "I never thought I'd be involved with an education prize because I struggled in high school and I didn't go to college. But there was one class that I really loved... a shop class with a terrific teacher, and it was great to learn a skill."