Zillah Teacher Is National Teacher of the Year

<p>Charbonneau</p>

Charbonneau

For weeks, posters with the name "Charb" have cluttered the hallways throughout Zillah High School.

And only more will clutter the walls once the newly named National Teacher of the Year returns home.

"At this point, it's this overwhelming feeling of excitement and also wondering what the possibilities will be from here," said Jeff Charbonneau.

This morning, the science teacher was announced as the National Teacher of the Year, beating out three other top candidates from across the country.

The school held a send-off for the Zillah grad last week -- where he finally came to terms with being a role model for students at the school.

"It hit me hard because I've grown up here, and I'd like to come back one day and be able to be a part of this community again.," said senior Bobby Salinas, "And I thought that was really good."

"It definitely shows that you don't have to come from a big school to be special," said junior Zach Collins.

As National Teacher of the Year, Charbonneau's room will be occupied by a full time substitute as he tours the world, sharing his experience teaching at the high school.

"I will definitely miss my students, I'll miss my colleagues, but at the same time I know that the good that's going to come from this is going to far outweigh the opportunities [if i miss] That call," said Charbonneau.

In a short video this morning, Charbonneau thanked students and staff for their support, and hoped his journey will inspire more success from the school.

"Never limit your own potential, never limit what you can do in life," said Charbonneau, "Because no matter where you come from, you can succeed."

Jeff Charbonneau will head to the White House tomorrow to meet with President Barack Obama and receive his National Teacher of the Year award.