AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – An Amarillo ISD teacher is one of only 18 in the nation to be named winner of the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. David Gibson, a machining teacher at Caprock High School, will receive a $50,000 reward, the entirety of which will go to the school’s skilled trades program.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence is a nationwide competition, aimed at recognizing instructors in the skilled trades in public high schools who inspire students to learn life skills.
Gibson was also a finalist for the award in 2019.
“At Amarillo ISD, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of career and technical education to equip students with valuable skills that translate to college and career paths. David Gibson’s dedication to teaching the trades, and to his students, truly exemplifies the District’s mission to prepare our students for life and success beyond high school,” said Superintendent Doug Loomis. “Furthermore, we are answering the investment our teachers like David make in their students by prioritizing career and technical education through the new career academy which will welcome its first students next fall.”
Gibson reportedly grew into a love for trades while taking a machine shop class at his own high school in 1971. Before becoming a teacher at CHS, he worked on aircraft and in oil fields, eventually earning an engineering degree and running his own manufacturing company.
Gibson says that he became a teacher as a way to give back to the community. In his time as an educator, Gibson has pursued further professional development, including completing a University of Texas course that covered distance learning shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to AISD, As an instructor, Gibson encourages his students to teach each other and work independently. They even run their own recruitment program for middle school students. Nine out of 10 of his students pursue further education after high school, whether two- or four-year college or apprenticeships and certifications.
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