Tucson Values Teachers (TVT) presented the March Teacher Excellence Award to Jim Nelson, a high school automotive teacher at Andrada Polytechnic High School in Vail Unified School District.
Nelson, who has taught at Andrada Polytechnic for the past 10 years after a career in the automotive industry, built the automotive program at the school from the ground up. Nelson instructs students on how to complete routine maintenance of vehicles, such as oil changes and brake replacements, as well as more elaborate restorations.
Nelson was nominated by the principal at Andrada Polytechnic, Geoff Parks. In his nominating statement, Parks wrote, “Mr. Nelson has built one of the best automotive programs in the state, if not nation. He has built partnerships with local dealerships to place students in internships as well as jobs in industry. Hundreds of his students have been placed in industry. Students earn college credit as well as over 30 different Automotive Service Excellence certifications. This includes the Toyota Elite Certification where Andrada is one of five schools in the nation.”
Parks went on to write, “Mr. Nelson guides students to their goals through his sheer passion for students and determination to never give up on any student. He is one of a kind.”
“I look at myself more as a job coach,” said Nelson. “Wherever it is they want to go, I want to help them get there.”
Tucson Values Teachers spotlights quality Southern Arizona teachers every month. Teachers are nominated through Tucson Values Teachers’ website by colleagues, students, friends, and other community members. Winners of the Teacher Excellence Award receive $250 cash courtesy of Helios Education Foundation, a $100 gift card to Amazon, and flowers.
More information about the Teacher Excellence Award, including the nomination form, can be found at www.tucsonvaluesteachers.org.