Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

Apply Now for the 2019 Prize for Teaching Excellence

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.

Teachers and teacher teams can apply at hftforschoolsprize.org through June 17th.

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.

“I have a special place in my heart for skilled trades teachers, especially those who teach in high school,” Smidt said. “It is an honor to be able to recognize these unsung heroes each year and support them and their skilled trades programs that are so important to our country’s future.” 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.