- Westglades Middle School
Atlantic Technical College and High School Machining Teacher Wins 2022 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence
Kevin Finan wins $50,000 for Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School
Congratulations to Kevin Finan, a machining teacher at Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School, for being named a winner of the 2022 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. He was awarded $50,000 for his program.
Finan is one of 20 prize winners across the country who were surprised today (October 4, 2022) with the news that they had won.
“We cannot overstate the impact that high school skilled trades teachers are having in the classroom. Hands-on skilled trades classes are making a comeback, and we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate the accomplishments of these remarkable teachers and their programs,’’ said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.
Overall, there are winners from 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
The winning teachers come from a variety of skilled trades career pathways, including automotive, construction, carpentry, industrial technology, welding, agricultural mechanics and machining.
“For the past 10 years, Mr. Finan has established and maintained an unprecedented relationship with our school’s manufacturing industry partners and the business community that supports it,” said Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School Principal Neeta Rancourt. “He continues to enhance the level of skills of the students he trains, helping them to gain a competitive edge leading to employment and paths to careers in high-wage, in-demand fields in South Florida.”
The valuable input Finan has provided to Atlantic Technical has led to the advancement of technology within the industry and raised the level of quality of its employees entering the manufacturing field. While Finan serves as the teacher for the machining technologies program, he also continues to provide direct support to the machining apprenticeship program that he helped develop in alliance with the South Florida Manufacturers Association.
Finan has also proven invaluable with his skills for securing the necessary funding needed to maintain a quality machining program that rivals anywhere in the state of Florida. He has been instrumental in earning grant awards from various sources for both equipment and supplies. This has included an apprenticeship grant from the Florida Department of Education that awarded the school with more than $500,000 used to purchase state-of-the-art machining equipment.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was launched in 2017 by Eric Smidt, the founder of the national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools, to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools.
“We deeply appreciate the work skilled trades teachers do to prepare and inspire our next generation of tradespeople,” Smidt said. “Their work is urgently needed because while our country’s need for building and repairs is growing, our skilled trades workforce is shrinking.”
Atlantic Technical College and
Technical High School
"I love being a trades teacher in that we often get a student who is very smart but for varied reasons he/she/they struggle in their academic classes. The student cannot totally explain it, but they get machining and thrive in the machining program. It is just such a pleasure to see students joyfully excelling in class."
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Educating all students to reach their highest potential.”
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962, serving more than 256,000 students and approximately 110,000 adult learners in 240 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 90 charter schools. BCPS supports a diverse student population representing 170 different countries and speaking 147 languages. To connect with BCPS, visit browardschools.com, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.
About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools owner and founder Eric Smidt, to advance excellent skilled trades education in U.S. public high schools. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to drive a greater understanding of and investment in skilled trades education, 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 is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program. For more information, visit: harborfreighttoolsforschools.org.