“I am extremely pleased to be able to sponsor this resolution for Mr. Charbonneau,” Honeyford said. “It is not every day the best teacher in the nation comes from your legislative district. I thank Mr. Charbonneau for his dedication to providing a world-class education for the students of Zillah High School.”
Along the way to becoming the 63rd National Teacher of the Year, Charbonneau was named the Zillah School District Teacher of the Year, Educational Service District 105 Regional Teacher of the Year as well as 2013 Washington State Teacher of the Year. The latter put him in the running for the national honor.
“Hearing the students talk about Mr. Charbonneau, they really hold him in high regard,” Honeyford said. “He has done some great things for the science program in Zillah and across the whole valley.”
Due to a program started by Charbonneau, 90 percent of last year’s graduating students have gone on to continue their education in college, apprentice programs or the military. He was able to initiate an articulation agreement granting him adjunct status at Heritage College in Toppenish. This allows students to obtain up to 10 college credits while taking their high-school science classes.
Charbonneau graduated from Zillah High School in 1996 and returned to his former school in 2001 as a chemistry, physics, engineering and architecture teacher. Since then, he has assisted pioneering STEM-focused learning programs for the Zillah School District as well as the state of Washington.
“We are always saying we need to find better role models for our children,” Honeyford said. “The students of Zillah don’t have to look any further than the front of their classroom.”