Another Day In Paradise

545,000 miles, 33 states, and 5 countries later, Jeff Charbonneau is finally back home.

The national teacher of the year in finishing his first week back at Zillah High School after traveling the world for the past year and a half.

"The first day of school is always a very magical time, but walking back into my own classroom again, being here at Zillah High School is just absolutely wonderful," said Charbonneau.

For 15 months, Charbonneau has traveled as far as China and back, meeting with all sorts of educators, some who were very much like him, and many who couldn't be more different.

He's met political figures, attended celebrity functions, and even spoken to crowds nearing 100,000 people.

All promoting the importance of education, particularly through science, technology, engineering and math.

"It was an amazingly blessed opportunity to go around the United States and different countries of the world, to see so many different pieces of education," said Charbonneau, "It's experience that I will use coming back into the classroom."

But while Charbonneau exchanged knowledge with those across the world, his students back home waited eagerly for his return.

"Some people like the juniors said 'I'm not even going to take chemistry until Charb' is back, because I want him to teach me,'" said senior Gabriellah Melendrez.

Despite all the fun and traveling, Charbonneau says he finds the most fun from the comfort of his classroom.

After all, it's just another day in paradise.

"When I walk in here, I know that people care, and I know that they're dedicated to the advancement of education for the kids," said Charbonneau, "That's what matters most, that's why it's paradise."

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