CWU News

CWU alum Charbonneau up for Global Teacher Prize

CWU alum and Zillah High School science teacher Jeff Charbonneau, last year’s national teacher of the year, could next become the global teacher of the year.

The Global Teacher Prize gives international recognition for outstanding teachers in each region of the globe. Winners are invited to a forum in 2015 in Dubai and receive a prize of $1-million. A winner will be announced next March in Dubai.

Charbonneau spent most of the 2013-14 year traveling the globe and speaking to educators as the U.S. national teacher of the year. He returned to Zillah this fall to a new role as STEM coordinator in Yakima.

The Global Teacher Prize is funded through the philanthropic arm of GEMS Education, a Dubai-based international education company that owns and operates schools in places such as Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Uganda. Its honorary chairman is former President Bill Clinton.

For this award, called the “Nobel Prize for educators,” there were about 1,300 applications from 127 countries around the world. The list was reduced to the top 50 and has representatives from 26 nations. Sixteen of the nominees are from the U.S.; Charbonneau and another Seattle teacher are representatives from Washington State.

Charbonneau is a 2000 CWU graduate in biology education, who also received his biology teaching certificate in 2000. In 2005, he earned his Master Teacher degree from CWU.

Charbonneau has been singled out for his involvement with the Washington Student Achievement Council, raising nearly $100,000 in grants to provide his students with tools like computers, 3-D printers, and laser cutters. He started the Zillah Robot Challenge and expanded robotics in the school. He has encouraged his students to collaborate on science projects through video conferencing with other students across the globe.

The winner would receive the prize money over ten years, or $100,000 annually. Charbonneau wrote that, if he is granted the prize, half the yearly funding would go to the Zillah Robot Challenge establishing competitive grants. 

For more information , please contact Jackie O'Ryan at