Fayetteville high school teacher makes semifinals of national teaching excellence competition

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville high school teacher is a semifinalist for a national teaching excellence award.

Henrietta Jutson, who teaches integrated systems technology at Jack Britt High School, is one of 50 teachers across the country who made it to the semifinals of a competition that give top teachers a chance to share a $1 million prize.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence started in 2017 to recognize outstanding teachers in the skilled trades.

This year, more than 700 teachers applied for the prize. Jutson has advanced into the top 50.

In the semifinals, the teachers will have to respond to different learning models and explain how ideas from those models can best inspire students to excellence. Their responses will be judged by an independent panel, which will narrow the teachers down to 18.

Those 18 teachers will split the $1 million in prizes. Three first-place winners will receive $30,000 each and $70,000 will be given to their high school's skilled trades program. The remaining 15 second-place winners will get $15,000 and $35,000 for their high school.

"Skilled trades teachers help hundreds of thousands of students each year experience the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from learning a trade," Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt said. "These teachers, their students and skilled tradespeople everywhere, too often don't receive the respect and gratitude they deserve. Without them, construction would halt, homes, cars, and appliances would fall into disrepair, and our infrastructure would crumble. We are thrilled to be able to honor and elevate the importance of their work."
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