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

High School teacher surprised by $100K for herself, career program
High School teacher surprised by $100K for herself, career program(Franklin County Career and Technical Center)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 1:46 PM CDT
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MEADVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - A high school construction and carpentry teacher won special recognition for her approach to teaching.

Her name is Kristie Jones and she’s with Franklin County Career and Technical Center in Meadville.

She’s the grand prize winner of the 2022 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize, winning $30,000 for herself and $70,000 for her trade program.

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

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

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

Her carpentry students even worked hand in hand with a local construction company to build a small business next door to their school.

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

All of Jones’s students participate in SkillsUSA competitions, and in 2022, 100 percent of her students earned a national certification in construction and/or carpentry.

And outside of teaching, she owns a woodcraft business where she mixes carpentry with art to create custom pieces.

Jones has a master’s degree in special education and credentials in construction, carpentry, and science. She sits on the board of directors of DonorsChoose, a non-profit organization that matches teacher requests with donors nationwide.

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

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