Aaron Thornsbury, an hvacr instructor for 15 years, teaches classes at Arthur Campbell High School, which is located in the Plainfield (IN) Correctional Facility near Indianapolis. To receive a certificate, students at this Level 2 correctional facility must pass the written and hands-on portion of Thornsbury’s classes with at least a 75% average, as well as a 100-question final exam with at least a 70% average.

“All students are afforded the opportunity to render hands-on service to functioning, existing air conditioners and heating units in the greater school setting,” said the retired USAF officer. “Troubleshooting is required, and only after a proposed solution is made will help be given.”

Thornsbury has established a program with a charitable organization that allows students to repair various manufacturers’ brands of refrigerators, dehumidifiers, and window air conditioning units. The immediate benefits are twofold: Repaired equipment is forwarded to those in need, and Thornsbury’s students experience a wide range of repair situations. For his efforts, the Shelbyville, IN resident received a special recognition award from the Saint Vincent De Paul Society, in addition to being awarded with an honorable mention in The News’ Best Instructor contest.

“Mr. Thornsbury deserves the recognition for his efforts in teaching,” student Todd Williams wrote. “His unselfish, caring attitude, along with his firm discipline, have allowed him to connect with his students. And these are not ‘just ordinary students.’ He’s teaching every kind of criminal society locked away.”

Thornsbury is a member of the National Education Association, Indiana State Teachers Association, Indiana Correctional Education Association, American Corrections Association, and the Indiana Corrections Association.

Publication date: 09/25/2000