The National Teacher of the Year hails from the small Washington town of Zillah. Jeff Charbonneau will be honored at the White House Tuesday.

Courtesy Council of Chief State School Officers

Jeff Charbonneau

Charbonneau teaches chemistry, physics, and engineering at Zillah High School - a small school in Yakima County.

He is a product of central Washington. He grew up in Zillah, and earned his college degrees at Central Washington University.

Charbonneau discusses his work with students in a video produced by the Washington Education Association.

"One of the things I like to teach my students is that they can do anything - and I really do mean that, they can do absolutely anything. You don't have to be just be a guy who crunches numbers in physics. You don't have to just be an artist. You can be both of them at the same time, because it's all about how to think."

Courtesy Council of Chief State School Officers

Jeff Charbonneau

Jeff Charbonneau is the third "national teacher of the year" from the Northwest in the last seven years.

Music teacher, Andrea Peterson, from Granite Falls, Washington, won the award in 2007. The next year, Prineville, Oregon's Michael Geisen won.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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