Rally For National Teacher of the Year Candidate

If you stepped into Zillah High School today, you wouldn't be able to turn a corner without seeing the name "Charb" posted all over the hallways.

In fact, you couldn't walk into a classroom without seeing a familiar face printed on orange colored t-shirts.

"We're dressing like him, we're wearing these 'I heart charb' shirts," said senior Kassidy Ruggles, "We're really excited for him, and cheering him on."

In less than 24 hours, science teacher Jeff Charbonneau will be on a plane bound for Washington D.C.

From the fifty individual state winners, only four semifinalists, including Charbonneau, remain eligible to receive the National Teacher of the Year Award.

Over the past few months, Charbonneau's experienced more than an average educator would in a lifetime; winning the state teacher of the year, throwing the first pitch at the Mariners game, and come next tuesday, meeting the President of the United States.

"It's been this absolutely amazing experience that I don't know that I've even really been able to have time to grasp," said Charbonneau, "You know, just how incredible it's really been."

For weeks, Charbonneau has been the talk of the school.

Many students say he's kept a cool, humble approach to the topic of National Teacher of the Year, however, they say it's time he embraces what he's achieved so far.

"He kind of takes less credit than what he deserves," said senior Damian Teague, "But that just shows his character and the type of person that he is. Everyone just knows that he deserves this, and he's going to get it."

Win or lose, the Zillah High School grad hopes his journey inspires students to never give up on their goals.

"A Zillah student can go and do these things, just like any student from Granger, or Toppenish, or Wapato, or Yakima," said Charbonneau, "It doesn't matter where you come from, what matters is that you keep your eyes set on a goal, and you continually strive to improve."