I met the Washington State teacher of the year, Jeff Charbonneau, last week. He was so impressive and I told him I wouldn't be surprised if he were one of the four national finalists. And it was announced today that he is a finalist. The National Teacher of the Year will be announced in April.
Jeff teaches physics, chemistry and engineering at Zillah High School in Zillah, Washington (outside of Yakima). They have 400 students.
After years of perseverance, he was able to offer college-level classes. In his classroom alone, students can earn 24 college credits.
What makes Zillah outstanding? Despite a high minority population (Latino), the school graduates 96% of their seniors.
From the Zillah School District:
Charbonneau is a National Board Certified STEM teacher, adjunct faculty at three colleges and universities, Pro-Cert and National Board mentor, co-president of his local Education Association and advisor to numerous clubs. He has created a series of college-level offerings in math and science that allow students in rural Zillah to earn up to 24 college credits before graduating.
This fall, he will become the first high school instructor in the state to offer five credits in chemistry through Eastern Washington University. In a nomination letter, Torres said that prior to Charbonneau, they did not have technology courses at the high school, and students went off campus to receive instruction in the area.
“Jeff brought life to the concept of how we could incorporate these classes using the Computer Assisted Design program, coordinate with our Career and Technology Education program, and create opportunities for students in the areas of engineering that will further enhance the chances of students continuing in the field of science after high school graduation.