THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A building trades teacher in Bay City and a welding and woodworking teacher from Republic in the Upper Peninsula are among the winners in the 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

The competition awarded more than $1 million nationally to 17 first and second prize winners and semi-finalists.

Andrew J. Neumann, a building trades teacher at the Bay Arenac Intermediate School District Career Center in Bay City, won one of three $100,000 national first place prizes. The prize includes $70,000 for the school’s building trades program and $30,000 for him.

Matthew Barbercheck, who teaches welding and woodworking at Republic-Michigamme Schools in Republic, was surprised in his classroom by a representative from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools with the news that he and his school was among 14 second place winners who will receive $50,000 — $35,000 for the school’s skilled trades program and $15,000 for him.

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