Most folks like surprises, at least the good ones, but how many surprises come with $100,000 attached?
Teacher Charles “Chaz” Kachmar of Maxwell HS of Technology had a little something extra to be thankful for this holiday season, thanks to Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.
In a surprise visit to his classroom, Mr. Kachmar learned he had been named one of three 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence award winners. The award honors the top high school skilled trades teachers in the country, and comes with a $100,000 prize— $70,000 for Maxwell’s skilled trades program and $30,000 for Mr. Kachmar’s personal use.
Since joining the Maxwell staff in 2012, Mr. Kachmar has rebuilt and revitalized the skilled trades program at the school by raising the curriculum standards and developing career opportunities for students through a dual-credit program with Gwinnett Technical College, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor.
“It is all about showing students the doors to a future. That is my love. And I have never been so completely fulfilled in my profession as I am as a welding instructor,” says Mr. Kachmer, who has been a teacher for 23 years.
The 2018 prize drew more than 550 applications from 49 states and included three rounds of judging, each by an independent panel that included experts from industry, education, trades, philanthropy and civic leadership.