PONTIAC,Ill.— A Pontiac high school won second place in the 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence Thursday.

Courtesy: Swati Pandey

Jodi Lancaster teaches welding at Livingston Area Career Center in Pontiac and won a $50,000 award. She was surprised in her classroom Thursday with the news that the school’s skilled trades program will receive $35,000.

Lancaster gets to keep $15,000 for herself.

Courtesy: Swati Pandey

“My goal,” she said, “Has always been to provide my students with as many pathways as I can, so they can get to where they want to be no matter what obstacles they may have in their way.”

Lancaster has taught at the Livingston Area Career Center for 12 years.