Donnie Murrell, Garden City High School welding teacher, has been named a semi-finalist for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence award. Murrell is one of just 54 educators to advance to the 2nd round of review out of a total of 693 submissions.
The Harbor Freight Prize for Teaching Excellence is a part of the Tools for Schools program that was established by the Smidt Foundation in an effort to support the advancement of skilled trades education in the United States.
The top three finalists will earn $100,000 each in prizes and resources with the remaining seven taking home $30,000; in all, more than $500,000 will be awarded. Finalists will be announced Oct. 10. The top three winners will be announced on October 23.
This award is a brand-new program of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools to honor outstanding teaching in the skilled trades (including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, welding, auto repair and more) in U.S. public high schools. Its purpose is to recognize teaching excellence in the skilled trades that enables students to learn deeply and be career-ready, with the hope of attracting further support for and investment in these public high school programs across the country.
Every teacher or teacher team applying for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence will not only have the opportunity to win a financial prize, but will also get access to a series of expert-led learning modules. These modules, available online for free, help them be even more effective in the classroom. Moreover, the learning modules will be made available to the whole field to support peer learning and, over time, be a repository of fine resources for teachers to adapt and use in their classrooms and programs.