CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) — South Harrison High School building construction teacher John Lockhart is the recipient of a national teaching prize sponsored by Harbor Freight.
Lockhart, who teaches classes on agriculture, mechanics, structure and building repair, was one of only 18 winners nationwide.
As a winner, he received a $50,000 check, as well as a toolbox from Harbor Freight.
The prizes were awarded through Harbor Freight’s Tools for Schools program.
South Harrison High School students and staff were on hand to see the prize presentation during an assembly in the gym Thursday.
The purpose of the assembly was kept a secret in order to surprise Lockhart.
“I’m just excited. We’re going to use the money to make a mobile (agriculture) mechanics lab because some of the schools in the county don’t have the mechanics lab facilities,” Lockhart said.
“It’ll be really good for us to expand the programming and the courses that we can offer the students at some of the other high schools,” he said.
Lockhart said he doesn’t know yet what he’ll do with the portion of the winnings that goes to him.
He expressed his gratitude for being selected as a national winner and thanked the school and the Harrison County Board of Education for their support.
“I just want to thank the school board for being so cooperative with everything we do. Our administration here, Dr. (Greg) Moore and Mr. Will Castro, our staff and our students.
“I’m really fortunate to work where we work,” Lockhart said.
Lockhart’s family was notified ahead of time and was in attendance to see the presentation as well.
This year’s Tools for Schools competition drew more than 700 applications from 49 states and included three rounds of judging.
Judging was completed by independent panels of experts from industry, education, trades, philanthropy and civic leadership.
The application process included answering questions and a series of learning modules.
The goal of the application process was to solicit each teacher’s experience, insights and creative ideas about their approach to teaching and how they help their students achieve success and excellence in trades.
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt, to advance skilled trades education in public high schools across America.
About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt, to advance excellent skilled trades education in public high schools across America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to drive a greater understanding of and investment in skilled trades education, believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program. For more information, visit HarborFreightToolsforSchools.org and Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.