About Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year
Jeff Charbonneau is chemistry, physics and engineering teacher at Zillah High School in Zillah, Washington. He’s been working in this position for his entire 12 year teaching career. Jeff 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. In addition to his role as a science instructor at ZHS, Jeff is a yearbook advisor, drama assistant director, science club advisor, and is the 9th grade class advisor. He also is an adjunct faculty member at three colleges and universities, allowing students who do take his classes to earn 24-college credits upon successful completion. Jeff admits his classes are “more rigorous” but says they are designed to be accessible. He’s created interactive learning experiences, like the robot challenge, to help students develop confidence in their abilities. Jeff said, “I believe my greatest accomplishments are revealed each time a student realizes that he or she has an unlimited potential. The rest are simply vehicles to make it happen.”