National Teacher of the Year

2013 National Teacher of the Year

NameJeffrey Charbonneau

School Information

School Address
Zillah High SchoolZillah, WA
Teaching AreaChemistry, Physics, Engineering
Teaching Level9-12

WA Teacher Named 2013 National Teacher of the Year

Head Shot photo by: Chris VanAntwerp of VanClub Photography

April 22, 2013, Washington, D.C. - 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.