Harvard High School’s manufacturing and metals teacher, Steve Glasder, is a semifinalist for Harbor Freight’s Tools For Schools 2019 Prize for Teaching Excellence. Glasder is one of 50 semifinalists throughout the United States.
On Wednesday, the board recognized Glasder for his achievement and dedication to students.
Speaking to the board, Glasder explained that there is a shortage of skilled machinists. At Harvard High School, students can acquire skills that can lead directly to industry employment.
Glasder is a 40-year veteran teacher who has taught manufacturing at Harvard High School for the past eight years. On their first day in class, Glasder’s students cut metal and read precision instruments, eventually developing their skills to measure and work to an accuracy of 0.001 inches. Glasder partners with McHenry County College to provide his students with dual credit and offers a pathway to join the local Tooling and Manufacturing Association’s apprenticeship program.
Under his leadership, Glasder has brought industry-level Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines into the high school to prepare students for in-demand occupations. He also partnered with Scot Forge to create apprenticeship programs for students.
In 2018, the Harvard Community Education Foundation awarded Glasder a Mega-Grant for the purchase of CNC machines and training.
Glasder is one of 749 skilled trades teachers who applied for the prize.
Two rounds of judging, each by separate independent panels of reviewers, will narrow the field to 18 finalists and, finally, name the three first-place and 15 second-place winners. Winners will be announced on Oct. 24.
The 18 winners will split $1 million in prizes. First-place winners will each receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. Second-place winners will each be awarded $50,000, with $35,000 going to their public high school program and $15,000 to the teacher or team.
The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 by Eric Smidt, the founder of national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools.