UANY HARBOR SCHOOL MARINE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY TEACHER WINS HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS PRIZE FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE

UANY HARBOR SCHOOL MARINE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY TEACHER WINS HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS PRIZE FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE

Teacher, School Win $100,000 for Outstanding Skilled Trades Teaching

 

UANY HARBOR SCHOOL MARINE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY TEACHER WINS HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS PRIZE FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCEBROOKLYN, N.Y.–An Urban Assembly New York Harbor School marine systems technology teacher has won the inaugural Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools announced today. The teacher and the high school will split prize winnings of $100,000.

Drawn from a field of nearly 700 applicants from across the country, New York Harbor School’s Brendan Malone is one of three first-place winners who will each receive $30,000–to use at their discretion–and their public high schools will each receive $70,000 to support their skilled trades programs. The other winners are from Washington and California.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools, awarded $510,000 to the three first-place winners and seven second-place winners. Harbor Freight Tools made additional donations totaling $44,000 to 44 semi-finalists.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate these remarkable teachers for inspiring their students to stay in school and develop skills that can lead to great paying jobs that are so important to our economy,” said Eric Smidt, CEO and owner of national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools and founder of The Smidt Foundation, which established and operates Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “We created this prize to shine a spotlight on excellent skilled trades teaching and to attract investment in these classes so a strong skilled trades education can once again be available to public high school students across America.”

Brendan Malone has been a marine trades teacher for 17 years and previously ran his own marine systems company for more than a decade before overseeing the maintenance and restoration of New York City’s South Street Seaport Museum’s fleet of historic vessels. A certified Marine Systems Technician with a hundred-ton U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license, Malone attended a marine trades high school in New Haven, Connecticut, where he developed his love for the trades.

“The school’s shop was an old Navy repair barge pushed up onto land and ponderously shored up, and right away I discovered my love for those smells of wood, diesel fuel and turpentine, and the squawking sounds of seagulls,” Malone wrote in his prize application. “What really hooked me was that once I learned how to safely use the tools, I was given plans and materials and left to figure out how to build a boat. Concepts once abstract became real–real math, real geometry, real problem-solving, and of course, real mistakes. I acquired not only technical skills that made me employable but also the confidence that I could find a solution to just about any problem if I really applied myself. I want my students to feel the same way about their experience here at Harbor School as I do about my trade school experience. My philosophy is: learn by doing. That’s the way it sticks.”

Led by Malone, the marine systems technology program at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School prepares students to work in a career building, maintaining and repairing boats. Students in the program must demonstrate mastery across a broad field of trades including woodworking, engine maintenance, metalworking and welding, composites, electrical, plumbing and sanitation, heating and cooling. The school is the only high school in the country whose students are eligible to take the American Boat and Yacht Council’s Marine Systems Technician Certification Exam–a critical credential in the marine industry.

“Boats are indeed things of beauty, but they are also microcosms of just about all the technology we use–propulsion, power generation, climate control, communications, structure, plumbing and sanitation, cooking it is all there, each system interacting and sharing a limited amount of space with the others,” Malone wrote. “Marine technology in particular offers an excellent, maybe unique laboratory for endless problem-solving.”

Malone’s juniors and seniors are required to participate in marine field internships, and this year, his class is partnering with the South Street Seaport Museum in New York to restore a 1930s tugboat as part of their internship program.

The other first-place winners are Bob Kilmer, who teaches construction and architecture at Enumclaw High School in King’s County, Washington, and Jonathan Schwartz, who teaches advanced manufacturing and woodworking at Colfax High School in Placer County, California.

Seven second-place winners will each receive $10,000, and their high schools will receive $20,000 for their skilled trades programs. The high schools of the remaining 44 semi-finalists will each receive a $1,000 gift card, donated by Harbor Freight Tools, to support their skilled trades programs. A list of the second-place winners and semi-finalists is available at: https://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/2017-hftfs-prize-teaching-excellence/#finalists.

“All 10 of these winners are exemplary, and the ultimate winners are their students,” said Robin Kramer, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “These teachers combine their considerable skill and creativity with dedication and zeal for learning–all for the benefit of their students and their futures. Their practices and results offer valuable approaches that other skilled trades teachers can adapt and use in their own programs. We look forward to bringing together all of them next summer so they can get to know each other’s work up close, and share strategies to promote excellence for the field at our first ‘Let’s Build It Institute.'”

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was designed to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspires students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.

The need for skilled trades professionals in the U.S. is growing. Between now and 2024, there will be more than 1.5 million skilled trades job openings as Baby Boomers retire, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This inaugural prize competition drew nearly 700 applicants from 48 states, and the field was narrowed to 54 semi-finalists, then 10 finalists and then the three first-place winners. The application process included a learning component that gave all applicants access to ideas and practices through a series of online expert-led learning modules designed to help them be more effective in the classroom. All learning modules are available online at harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/2017-hftfs-prize-teaching-excellence/#modules.

The finalists were selected by panels of judges from the worlds of business, K-12 and higher education, the trades and crafts, non-profits and philanthropy. A separate panel of seven judges selected the first- and second-place winners. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools did not play a role in selecting the finalists or winners.

For more information about the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Teaching Prize for Excellence, please visit http://harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/2017-hftfs-prize-teaching-excellence/.

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 support the advancement of skilled trades education in America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, this program was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in public high schools. 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 for Schools aims to stimulate greater understanding, support and investment by public entities and others in skilled trades education. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program. For more information, visit harborfreighttoolsforschools.org.

 

UANY HARBOR SCHOOL MARINE SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY TEACHER WINS HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS PRIZE FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE