High school teacher surprised with $100,000 for herself, trade program

MEADVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) – A high school construction and carpentry teacher has received special recognition for her approach to teaching.

Her name is Kristie Jones and she works at the Franklin County Career and Technical Center in Meadville.

She is the grand prize winner of the 2022 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools award, winning $30,000 for herself and $70,000 for her business program.

You could tell by the look on her face that she had no idea she would be named the national award winner.

Jones rose to the top of an application process among 16 states that solicited each teacher’s experience, ideas, and creative ideas about their approach to teaching and their success in helping their students achieve the Excellency.

The educator invites industry professionals to enhance her classroom lessons and connect students with work opportunities.

His carpenter students same worked hand in hand with a local construction company to build a small business next to their school.

“Teaching construction and carpentry is more than tools and sawdust. I make sure they have everything they need to be ready to learn,” Kristie Jones said.

All Jones students compete in SkillsUSA competitions, and by 2022, 100% of Jones students have achieved national certification in construction and/or carpentry.

And aside from teaching, she owns a woodcraft business where she mixes carpentry with art to create bespoke pieces.

Jones has a master’s degree in special education and degrees in construction, carpentry and science. She sits on the board of DonorsChoose, a nonprofit that matches teacher requests with donors nationwide.

Jones is one of 20 educators across the country who are sharing $1.25 million in prize money.

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