A teacher in eastern Iowa was surprised with a national teaching award and a hefty prize.

James Simmons, who taught construction and now oversees the Construction and Work-based learning programs at North Scott High School, was surprised on Tuesday morning with a $50,000 national teaching prize.

The prize is the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, and James is one of 25 national winners (the only one in Iowa).

James was presented the check in a ceremony on Tuesday at the student-built home site. The money is to be invested into North Scott High's trade skills program.

According to a release from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, James spent most of his 20-year career in the construction industry as a business owner. He started teaching in 2013 and expanded North Scott's construction program to include carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and manufacturing. He also brought about the Student-Built Home Capstone, which involves 24 students building a 1,700 sq. ft. home for the community and he started a Skilled Trades Educational Pathway for students in the 11th grade.

Way to go Mr. Simmons!

Do you know a local teacher that should be recognized? It's not $50,000 but it's still some love! You can nominate them to be our QC Teacher of the Week below.

A big congratulations to Mr. Simmons and North Scott High School! In total, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is awarding $1.5 million in prizes to the lucky 25 skilled trades teachers in the U.S.

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