The winners of the 2004 Instructor of the Year awards pride themselves on finding innovative ways of presenting both classroom theory and hands-on training. From Jim Bergmann’s ductwork projects (pictured above) to the classroom instruction of Michael Mutarelli (below) to the equipment demonstrations of Kevin Couch (bottom), this year’s winners demonstrated their determination to make sure students gain a solid foundation in HVACR.
It isn't just the textbooks and rows of lab equipment that make a successful HVACR educational program. While theory and hands-on lab experience are both integral components of a well-planned curriculum, the impact of the educational experience depends on the instructor. Teachers can do more than simply convey what they know; they can impart an enthusiasm for the subject that makes the learning experience more enjoyable - and more effective.

The best instructors not only prepare students for tests on the subject matter, they help them prepare for real-world situations. Teachers can leave indelible impressions with their students, serving as role models demonstrating the importance of knowledge, integrity, responsibility, and an appreciation for a job well done.

These factors were among the criteria used to determine the winners of the 2004 Instructor of the Year contest. The News and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) again combined forces to salute the best of the best HVACR instructors across the United States. The winners were chosen because of their dedication and commitment to making the educational experience in their classrooms the key to successful careers for their students.

This year's Instructor of the Year is Jim Bergmann from Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (Brecksville, Ohio), and the runner-up is Guy Letrick from Monmouth County Vocational School (Freehold, N.J.). Receiving honorable mentions were Scott McClure from Vernon College (Vernon, Texas), Kevin Couch of R.G. Drage Career Center (Massillon, Ohio), Michael Mutarelli of Lehigh Carbon Community College (Schnecksville, Pa.), and Shawn Maynard of RETS Tech Center (Centerville, Ohio).

Complete coverage of this year's winners is provided in the articles "Top Instructor Embodies Professionalism," "Teacher Improves Students And Himself," "It's All A Matter Of Perspective," "Meeting Challenges One Student At A Time," "Preparing Students For The Future," and "Instilling Passion For The Industry" in this issue.

Publication date:11/08/2004