April 22, 2013 09:49 ET

WA Teacher Named 2013 National Teacher of the Year

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 22, 2013) - The Council of Chief State School Officers announced today that Jeff Charbonneau, a 9-12th grade Chemistry, Physics and Engineering teacher in Washington state, is the 63rd National Teacher of the Year. Charbonneau, along with all 2013 State Teachers of the Year, will be recognized by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House, on Tuesday, April 23.

Charbonneau teaches at Zillah High School (ZHS) in Zillah, Washington, where he has spent his entire 12-year teaching career. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and was a member of the William O. Douglas Honors College at Central Washington University, and holds a Masters of Education from Central Washington University. He is a National Board Certified teacher. He has received numerous awards, among them being various business donations and grants totaling more than $25,000 to support the ZHS Robot Challenge, of which he is founder and director.

Jeff also participates as the Zillah Education Association Co-President. He recognizes that many students see his course subjects as the "hard" science classes and welcomes the challenge to overturn that stigma, saying they are designed to be accessible. He's created interactive learning experiences, like the robot challenge, to help students develop confidence in their abilities. 

"I greet my students in class every day by saying, 'Welcome back to another day in paradise,'" said Jeff Charbonneau. "The reality is that paradise must be built, maintained and improved each day. It removes the words 'can't,' 'too hard' and 'impossible' from our vocabulary. This concept has become my philosophy of teaching, as I foster self-confidence, academic success, collaboration and dedication within my classroom, school and greater community."

For a press kit with additional information about Jeff Charbonneau click here. For more information about the National Teacher of the Year program, click here. There will be media availability with Jeff Charbonneau on Monday, April 22 from 10:30 - 12:30 ET. To arrange an interview with him please contact Kate Dando ( or Paul Ferrari ( President Barack Obama will honor the 2013 National Teacher of the Year and all of the State Teachers of the Year at the White House April 23 at 2:00 PM ET. 

A panel of educators, representing 15 national education organizations, chose the finalists from the 2013 state teachers of the year in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and four U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. State teachers of the year are selected on the basis of nominations by students, teachers, principals, and school district administrators throughout the states. Applications are then submitted to CCSSO, where the national selection committee reviews the data on each state candidate and selects the four finalists. The selection committee then personally interviews each finalist before naming the National Teacher of the Year. The finalists for 2013 National Teacher of the Year are Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship (Maryland), Alex S. Lopes (Florida) and Heidi Welch (New Hampshire).

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information