Zillah High School Teacher Is Top 4 For National Teacher Of The Year Award



A teacher from Zillah High School is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

We met with science teacher, Jeff Charbonneau, who has been teaching at ZHS for over 11 years.

And even after almost a dozen years of teaching, Charbonneau, or as his students call him, Charb', says his job never gets old.

"Very few people have that opportunity to what they truly love as their career," Charbonneau "I actually love this job, and I don't ever dread coming to work."

Charbonneau is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year Award, decided on by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

He was already awarded the state teacher of the year award back in September, and many of his students say they aren't surprised he's a top candidate for the national award.

"It was kind of more like 'finally,'" said senior Rebecca Ozuna, "He's always there whether it's before school, after school, during class, during lunch periods. He always has time available for any student that's willing to learn, or asks for questions."

If Charbonneau were to win National Teacher of the Year, he'd have to leave his classroom, which he's taught in for many years, empty while he tours the world giving speeches at various schools.

Many of his seniors say they feel really bad for the underclassmen who may not get a chance to be in his class next year.

"He makes science fun, he doesn't make it so where I dread coming to this class," said senior Alexis Medelez, "I like coming to this class, and I like to learn different things about chemistry now."

Charbonneau says he doesn't care whether he wins the award or not, as long as he continues to do what he loves.

"So I kind of see the final four as a no lose situation; if I win, I become national teacher of the year, and that's fantastic," said Charbonneau, "If I don't win, I get to stay in my classroom, and that's fantastic too."

Charbonneau and the other 49 state teachers of the year will get to meet President Barack Obama in April -- that's when the national winner will be announced.