East Prairie, Mo. teacher wins $100K through Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

East Prairie High School teacher wins $100K through Harbor Freight.
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 3:05 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 5:24 PM CDT
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EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. (KFVS) - A teacher in southeast Missouri won big with a national hardware store.

Students and faculty gathered on Tuesday morning, October 3 to surprise Rylyn Small, who teaches agricultural mechanics at East Prairie High School. He was won of five grand prize winners of the 2023 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools prize for teaching excellence.

On Tuesday, he was presented with a $100,000 check from Harbor Freight Tools.

Small said he was very surprised, and said the money will help go towards his goals for the school.

“My eight-year goal is to build a new facility, get all new welders and kinda fill out some grants; and this grand prize from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools really just capped all that,” he said. “So we kinda met that eight-year goal.”

We’re told Small will receive $30,000 and the rest goes toward the school.

According to a release from Harbor Freight, Small’s love of agriculture began in his youth while working on a farm and raising livestock. He has been teaching for more than seven years, and is currently the president elect for the Missouri Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association.

In total, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools awarded $1.5 million in prizes to 25 skilled trades teachers nationwide.