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Female Auto Shop Teacher At Bullard-Havens Named Finalist For Tool Prize

Roxanne Montarro Amiot was the first woman to graduate from Bullard-Havens in auto shop
Roxanne Montarro Amiot was the first woman to graduate from Bullard-Havens in auto shop Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A teacher who was the first woman to graduate from Bullard-Havens Technical High School in auto shop is now a finalist in a national competition for teaching excellence in the skilled trades.

Auto shop teacher Roxanne Montarro Amiot has received a $30,000 prize for her and the school after she was named a finalist in the 2017 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

Amiot is now in the running with nine other finalists for the top prize of $100,000.

She was recognized for her leadership of Bullard-Havens' automotive technology department. Amiot worked in the automotive industry before returning to her alma mater to teach.

She has taught in the Connecticut Technical High School System as an auto instructor for 29 years. Passionate about preparing her students for successful careers and providing skilled technicians to the industry, Amiot’s auto lab is a licensed repair facility, and students complete internships with local businesses and graduate with industry certifications.

Bullard-Havens, located in Bridgeport, serves students from Bridgeport, Fairfield, Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence is awarding more than $500,000 to outstanding skilled trades teachers and programs in public high schools.

Drawn from across the country and representing skilled trades like construction, automotive, architecture, woodworking, manufacturing and marine systems technology, the 10 finalists are in the running for three first-place prizes of $100,000, with $70,000 going to the high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. The seven second-place winners will each be awarded $30,000, with $20,000 going to the high school program and $10,000 to the teacher/team.

The winners will be announced on Oct. 26.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was designed to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspires students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.

"We created this prize out of huge respect for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands to create, build and repair," said Eric Smidt, founder of the prize and founder, owner and CEO of the national retailer Harbor Freight Tools. "We're proud to honor the important leadership of these skilled trades teachers, who are working so hard to equip their students with the know-how and skill to land good jobs, pursue bright futures, and become part of a workforce our country needs."

The other finalists are:

  • Gerald "Dave" Huffman and Patrick Wadsworth, Construction Technology, Gulfport High School, Gulfport, Miss.
  • Ed Hughes, Construction, Technology Education, Sheboygan Falls High School, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
  • Bob Kilmer, Construction & Architecture, Enumclaw High School, Enumclaw, Wash.
  • Brendan Malone, Marine Systems Technology, Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Scott Mayotte, Automotive Technology, Concord Regional Technical Center, Concord, N.H.
  • Jonathan Schwartz, Advanced Manufacturing, Colfax High School, Colfax, Calif.
  • Cole Smith and Bill Hartman, Construction, Woodworking, Rancho Cotate High School, Rohnert Park, Calif.
  • Robert David White, Automotive Technology, Parkside High School, Salisbury, Md.
  • Randy Williamson, Construction Trades, Williamsport Area High School Career and Technical Education, Williamsport, Pa.

For more information about the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Teaching Prize for Excellence, click here .

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