Hudson Teacher Finalist in the Excellence in Skilled Trades Competition

HUDSON – Jeff Webb, a Hudson School District advanced manufacturing teacher, has been named one of 50 finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools for Teaching Excellence Award for the fourth time.

Prices will be announced in October. This year, a record 768 nominations were received from 50 states. The 20 winners will be announced in October.

In the award nomination, Webb wrote, “Without a doubt, the best thing about my job is teaching my students through hands-on experiences. Nothing compares to it! I love when they capture a concept that I tried to convey. The light comes on in their eyes, and I know they got it. I think I’ve had more “Aha” moments in the last three years than in all my years teaching science. »

Fifty public high school skilled trade teachers are finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools for Teaching Excellence award. A total of $1.25 million in cash prizes will be awarded, when the field is narrowed to 20 winners, according to a press release from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.

“We deeply appreciate the work skilled trades teachers do to prepare and inspire our next generation of tradespeople,” Eric Smidt, founder of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, said in the release. “Their work is essential because while our nation’s construction and repair needs are growing, our skilled workforce is shrinking. High quality skilled trades teachers provide their students with a pathway not only to a good job, but also to a rewarding career and a good life.

The 2022 finalists go through a second round of competition, where they are asked to respond to an expert-led online learning module designed to solicit their ideas and creative ideas about teaching practices. Finalists are also invited to submit a short video describing an aspect of their teaching that exemplifies excellence. Two additional rounds of judging, each by separate independent review panels, will narrow the field to 20 winners and ultimately name the five grand prize winners and 15 winners.

The five grand prize winners will each receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their public high school’s skilled trades program and $30,000 to the skilled trades teacher behind the winning program. The 15 additional winners will each receive $50,000, including $35,000 for their public high school program and $15,000 for the teacher, according to the release.

Webb was a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Hudson Middle School for 23 years before accepting the professorship of advanced manufacturing at the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry. The 2022-23 school year will be its fifth year teaching all things mechatronics which encompasses Fanuc robotics, pneumatics and hydraulics, CNC machining, 3D modeling and printing, and PLC programming. (programmable logic controllers).

Webb was just thrown into the position early on and learned as he went. A substitute teacher supervised his classes once a week so he could keep up with his work and gain the industry experience he needed at the local state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

With the prize money, her class could get much-needed computers. For his personal award, Webb said he and his wife could use it to visit his son who is in college and will be studying abroad next summer. Webb hopes the fourth time “is a charm”.

“Computers are still a great thing we could use in our classroom. We have desktop computers running various software that are getting old. So that would definitely be a bonus,” Webb said. “We do a lot with CNC machining. We machine pieces of aluminum and steel and these things, and it’s expensive, and printing filament for 3D printers is getting expensive. So there is never a shortage of materials and supplies that I could use.

Hudson Area Schools Superintendent Michael Osborne said Webb is more than a great teacher.

“Jeff is an extremely dedicated teacher to both his students and the teaching of mechatronics. He himself is a lifelong learner. He continually attends trainings and other learning opportunities to challenge himself and his students,” Osborne said in an email. “Jeff is a long-time Science Olympiad coach in Hudson area schools. He recently stepped down from his coaching role, but has developed a highly competitive Science Olympiad program that has been extremely competitive locally, regionally and nationally. He is a much loved and respected teacher in Hudson, throughout our county, and throughout the state of Michigan! »

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