Shop Innovation Earns Boone Recognition

Mikhail Vasilyev, Staff Writer

Auto-shop teacher Steve Boone was recently nominated for the Acalanes Union High School District Teacher of the Year Award.  District superintendent John Nickerson announced the recognition on March 2.

“He’s an excellent teacher, and I think think that he deserved the award. He has some of the most innovative methods of teaching and he’s very unique in his style,” said librarian Sara Morgan.

Boone, who teaches autoshop at both Campolindo and Las Lomas high school sites, never expected to win this award. “I work at 2 different schools, so I never thought I had a chance of winning an award at Campolindo. But I’m really happy that my colleagues saw me as worthy of winning the teacher of the year,” said Boone.

Boone believes that he received the award for his innovative education methods, especially his use of technology. He records every lesson and demonstration that he gives, posting that lesson on school loop and making a QR code for it, allowing students who were absent to catch up on the lessons that they missed.

Each machine in the shop is tagged with a QR code that directs the user to an online video tutorial.  “Kids can go up to the machine with their phones and scan them, the video quickly pops up and they can see how to work it,” Boone explained.

Sophomore autoshop student Thomas Haskins said that the videos were helpful when he was catching up after an absence. “On one of the days I missed a demonstration, and for a regular class I wouldn’t have been able to make it up. But his videos on Schoolloop caught me up on it,” he said.

Boone also tries his best to avoid book work, instead using project based, hands-on learning strategies. “Every year I try to change the curriculum up to help my students out. I do a lot of hands-on activities, so every chapter in the book has its own unique project,” he said.

Boone also holds an Auto Club Night every other Thursday, where students can come in until 8:00pm to work on cars that have been donated by the community. Boone said, “[Students] also bring in their own vehicles on Club Night; they get to use the tools and machines that they learned on for their own cars. This really brings the book to life.”

“Mr. Boone is passionate about his work and about his students. He makes autoshop a really fun class and his projects engage us a lot and work on our skills. In my opinion he absolutely deserved to be teacher of the year,” said Haskins.

While Boone is enjoying his recent recognition, it hasn’t changed the way he operates. “I still keep on trucking and still teaching what I do. And I think I have a good program of what I do already, so I don’t think that the award changed me as a person or a teacher, but it surely made me more confident and made me feel better.”