Jerry Webb, manufacturing, electrical and plumbing systems teacher from Central High School, has won second place in the 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. Mr. Webb’s work with his classes in the area of renewable energy earned him the second place finish in the national contest. He was surprised with the news and a check for $50,000 during the prize presentation at Central High Thursday morning.
Webb’s work with his students in renewable energy has involved building a portable solar generator, a portable wind turbine, two energy-efficient tiny homes, and several styles of solar cookers and furnaces. He plans to use some of the funds from Harbor Freight to make a portable display to share the renewable energy work with other schools in the area.
“We are developing an outreach program where we can take our products we have built and share them with other schools and classes,” Mr. Webb said. “Our kids at Central can demonstrate the products we have made to show what the students have learned, teach other students how they work, and even cook during the demonstrations on the solar cookers we have built.”
Harbor Freight brought a special trophy for the presentation that will not fit in the school trophy case. The trophy is a new Harbor Freight toolbox for Webb’s classroom. Scott Brown of Harbor Freight presented Mr. Webb with the toolbox.
“When it comes down to it, education should be about what is best for students,” Mr. Webb added. “If I can use these new tools to help my students find both purpose and meaning in their lives while providing financial security for themselves and their families, I can find no greater meaning in my work as an educator.”
Mr. Webb is impacting students at Central High with his commitment to providing them unique learning opportunities while also developing skills they can use to be successful after graduation. “For me, I want to work in the HV/AC field after graduation and he has helped me to get experience in that area and I really appreciate what he has done for me,” said Jack Neely, a student at Central High.