National Teacher of the Year Noted for Robotics, Resourcefulness
On Tuesday afternoon, President Barack Obama presented Jeffrey Charbonneau of Zillah, Wash., with the 63rd National Teacher of the Year award in a cozy Rose Garden ceremony at the White House. The 12-year veteran science teacher was selected from among the 2013 state teachers of the year by a panel of representatives from 15 education organizations.
Charbonneau, a National Board-certified teacher, currently teaches physics, chemistry, and engineering at his alma mater, the 410-student Zillah High School, located in rural Yakima County. As President Obama explained in his speech, Charbonneau revamped the "lagging" science curriculum at the school—introducing more difficult and even college-level courses—because he “wanted to convince kids that something like quantum mechanics wasn’t something to run away from, but something to dive into.”
Charbonneau’s impressive résumé includes a multitude of leadership roles, such as co-president of the Zillah Education Association; book reviewer for the National Science Teachers Association; founder of a hiking, backpacking, and ecology group for students; yearbook advisor; assistant drama director; and member of the Zillah school district’s improvement team. In an interview, Charbonneau said he leads student activities "as a way to ensure that my high school students get absolutely the best high school experience they can." Every year, he said, he feels compelled to make certain "this...
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