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Owing It to Our Students


Owing It to Our Students

Dear Fellow Skilled Trades Teachers,

My name is Troy Reichert and I am an industrial technology teacher from Guernsey-Sunrise Public School in the huge metropolis of Guernsey, Wyoming—population 1,200.

I just wanted to encourage you all to push forward through the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence application, and imagine the endless possibilities that could come from winning this award! I know what a challenging time it is with schools closing and teaching moving online. But it’s worth making an effort for this award.


As a veteran teacher with 22 years of experience, I know how limited your time is. It can, and does, get exhausting. But if we expect our students to have a strong work ethic, don’t we as educators owe it to them to show the same?


If you’re struggling with finding the time or drive to complete your application, I’ve got a few suggestions that might help:

  1. Stay positive! You’re doing a job that very few people today want to do, and you’re good at it! Be proud of what you’ve done, but be hungry for what lies ahead.
  2. Read through the application questions and watch the videos each night for a week or two before attempting to write anything down. When you start typing, pretend as if you’re a judge who has never met you or seen your program… are you clear enough in your responses? When you’re convinced that you nailed it, hit that submit button!
  3. Let your students help! My students gave me some great insight on some things that I wasn’t even aware of regarding my teaching style or how I’ve helped them.

Well everybody, as I write this, it’s getting close to midnight and I’m tired. But I had to share all of this with you. So please go to and keep up the great work! Applications are due Wednesday, May 20 at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Good luck!

Troy Reichert
Industrial Technology Teacher
Guernsey-Sunrise Public School
Guernsey, Wyoming
2019 Prize for Teaching Excellence Winner