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Madison Metropolitan School District

Memorial Skilled Trades Teacher Finalist for National Award, Program Funding

Memorial High School automotive and engineering teacher Miles Tokheim is one of 50 finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. A total of $1.25 million in cash prizes will be awarded in October, when the field is narrowed down to 20 winners.

During his time at MMSD, Tokheim has spent 10 years teaching at La Follette High School, five years at the district central office as the Director of Career and Technical Education, and seven years at Memorial, where he currently teaches Consumer Auto, Automotive Technology 1-4, Project Lead The Way–Engineering Essentials, and Automotive Youth Apprenticeship.

“I’m proud of my students' hard work, dedication and commitment to learning,” Tokheim said. “This is all possible because of my colleagues, supportive administration at Memorial, and our MMSD Central Office staff. This program is benefiting students at Memorial High School and moving school district Technology and Engineering programs forward.”

As a finalist for the award, Tokheim will advance to a second round of competition, which includes responding to an online expert-led learning module designed to highlight his creative teaching practices, and creating a short video describing his excellence in teaching.

If selected into the top 20, Tokheim’s dedication to his students and profession will bring in thousands of dollars to the technical education programs, directly benefiting student learning and access.

“Their work is critical, because while our country’s need for building and repairs is growing, our skilled trades workforce is shrinking,” Eric Smidt, founder of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, said. “High quality skilled trades teachers offer their students a pathway not just to a good job, but also to a meaningful career and a good life.”