French-American historian and educator Jacques Barzun may have said it best: "Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition." AtThe NEWS, we are trying to change that, with help from the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI). In other words, it is time, once again, to honor the HVACR Best Instructor. In this issue,The NEWSrecognizes individuals who not only have the ability to introduce a well-planned curriculum, but also serve as role models, demonstrating the importance of knowledge, integrity, and responsibility in the field. Each nominated instructor was given a thorough review by the editorial staff atThe NEWS, along with the educational committee from ARI. Eventual winners were chosen because of their dedication to make the educational experience in their classrooms the key to successful careers for their students. And, when you are good, you apparently are really, really good.

This year's Best Instructor winner overall is Guy Letrick from Monmouth County Vocational School District (Freehold, N.J.). He is no stranger to the contest. Before being voted 2006 Best Instructor, Letrick was an honorable mention in 2003 and runner-up in both 2004 and 2005.

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Runner-up this year is Eugene Silberstein from Suffolk County Community College (Long Island, N.Y.). Like Letrick, Silberstein is no stranger here, either. Silberstein was an honorable mention in 2005.

There are two finishers for third place: Mark Wood from North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton, N.D.), and Ray Peters from Linn State Technical College (Linn, Mo.). Receiving honorable mention are Dennis Soukup from Community College of Southern Nevada (Henderson, Nev.); Mark Todd from Mid Michigan Community College (Harrison, Mich.); James Eller of Sinclair Community College (Kettering, Ohio); and Dan Barden from T.H. Pickens Tech Center (Aurora, Co.).

For complete coverage see the following stories in this issue:

  • What a Guy! And a Heck of a Teacher, Too!

  • Calling Professor Silberstein!

  • North Dakota Instructor on the Move

  • Peters Grows the HVAC College Program

  • Instructor Encourages Professionalism

  • Teacher's Style Continues to Evolve

  • Putting Students on the Fast Track

  • Instructor Gives Back to Industry

    Publication date: 11/13/2006