Chattanooga teacher Jerry Webb wins $50,000 for education

A Central High School teacher has been awarded $50,000 as part of a national contest to reward teachers who focus on skilled trades.

Jerry Webb, who teaches manufacturing, electrical and plumbing systems at Central, was surprised with the second-place award for teaching excellence Thursday at the school, according to a news release. Webb was one of 15 second-place winners across the nation and the only teacher from Tennessee to win. 

The second-place winners will receive $50,000, with $15,000 to the individual teacher to use at his discretion and $35,000 going to the high school to support the winning skilled trades program.

Webb, a 21-year veteran teacher, uses a project-based approach to teaching and learning. His students have designed and created solar-powered chicken tractors and sold them to local farmers, and they've built off-grid, tiny homes for the community.