Placer County Teacher Named A Top 10 Finalist $100,000 Teaching Prize


Congratulations are in order for Jonathan Schwartz of Colfax High School in Placer County. Schwartz, who teaches advanced manufacturing, was just named a top 10 finalist in this year’s Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

As a finalist, the school and teacher are guaranteed $30,000 and are still up for the $100,000 grand prize. Additionally, $70,000 will go to the high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program.

The other finalist will win $30,000—$20,000 goes towards the high school program and $10,000 to the teacher.

According to their website, the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding skilled trades programs at public high schools in the United States.

We define an “excellent” program as one led by a teacher who clearly loves the subject matter and is both highly knowledgeable and skilled; whose curriculum is matched to a relevant career pathway and future work choices; is designed to flow seamlessly into next-step options, whether to employment or college; encourages exploration and experimentation among students in a safe environment; and connects students to new relationships and worlds outside the classroom.

Additionally, two teachers, Cole Smith and Bill Hartman from Rancho Cotate High School in Sonoma County are top 10 finalists as well.

Good luck to all three! Winners will be announced on Oct. 26.


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