CATA teachers lead the way

Dipesh Bhattarai nominated Jon Hidalgo (left) and David Humphries (right) for the Outstanding Project Lead The Way Teacher award.  Photo courtesy of UCPS

MONROE – Central Academy of Technology & Arts educators Jon Hidalgo and David Humphries are two of 59 teachers selected across the U.S. to have earned the 2022-23 Outstanding Project Lead The Way Teacher award. 

The award recognizes educators who demonstrate a strong record of delivering an inspiring and empowering student experience while expanding access to Project Lead The Way programs and transforming teaching.

Project Lead The Way empowers students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges. Students learn technical skills and also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate and collaborate. Project Lead The Way  also provides teachers with the training, resources and support they need.

Dipesh Bhattarai, a senior at CATA, nominated Hidalgo and Humphries for recognition for their work in the Project Lead The Way engineering program.

“They both deserve this award because they do so much for us. I’m proud to see our school represented,” Dipesh said. “Learning to accept criticism, especially in engineering, was a big lesson. In my first year, I was one of those students who thought they knew everything. Mr. Hidaldo and Mr. Humphries taught me to be open to other people’s perspectives. They also have a way of making students feel comfortable to ask questions or for help.”

Hidalgo has been a teacher for 16 years and was introduced to Project Lead The Way 11 years ago.

“It was a world I hadn’t seen or experienced before. What I love about PLTW most is how my students can create their ideas and share their visions,” Hidalgo said. “I’m a big believer in learning by doing. That’s where PLTW does a great job.”

After working in the engineering industry, Humphries chose to become a teacher. He has been teaching for five years.

“I come from industry, so coming into a school and knowing what a high school student should be expected to know and learn was a bit foreign. Having PLTW set that foundation,” Humphries said. “It makes it easy to take it from there and to teach and expand on it.”

Principal Kevin Beals said the school is proud of Hidalgo and Humphries

“Their commitment to providing engaging, hands-on learning experiences enables our students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive,” Beals said. “We are honored and fortunate to have them as teachers at CATA.”

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