Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is shining a spotlight on excellent public high school skilled trades programs with its annual Prize for Teaching Excellence. 

Jorge Huizar has taught agriculture mechanics at Hennessey High School in Hennessey, Oklahoma for seven years. His own agriculture education teacher motivated him to enter the field, hoping to have a great impact on future students. 

Throughout the years of teaching, he found a passion in the welding and fabrication elements of his program, inspired by the industrial surroundings of his town and his students’ interest. Huizar has focused his efforts on providing his students with high quality education by updating shop equipment, classroom materials, and outdated curriculum through a number of grant and fundraising efforts. 

Within his accredited program, 80+% of students are more likely to enter the workforce career-ready than attend college. To build students toward this level of success, Huizar gets them comfortable with a variety of tools like arc welders, chop saws, rotary pipe benders, CNC plasma cutting machines, and more. 

Huizar is one of the first three ever finalists of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence from Oklahoma. Others in the running in Oklahoma are from Omega and Tulsa.  

The winners will be announced in late October. More than $1 million in cash prizes will be shared by 18 teachers and their skilled trades programs.

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