Owen has been teaching for four years and is an Automotive Service Excellence master technician and an adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech Community College. Tucker, a former student at Central Nine, spent 14 years at Firestone before returning to the school last year as a teacher.
Their automotive program is a dual credit program with Ivy Tech and has a high rate of placing interns at local automotive facilities. They and their competitors specialize in trades ranging from construction and carpentry to automotive repair, welding, advanced manufacturing and agriculture mechanics. The field of 52 will be narrowed to three first-place winners and 15 runners-ups in November.
Each of the top winners will receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their schools’ skilled trades programs and $30,000 to the teachers. The second-place winners will each be awarded $50,000, with $35,000 going to their schools’ program and $15,000 to the teachers.
“These semifinalists represent amazing depth and breadth in high school skilled trades education, and they exhibit incredible enthusiasm for teaching students to work with their hands, to love learning and be prepared for the future,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.“
We are thrilled to recognize their exceptional teaching and to raise the profile of their excellent work through these awards.” “Skilled trades teachers are unsung heroes,” said Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt. “They teach our students skills that help them in life and in careers.”