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Frankfort teacher receives $50,000 for teaching excellence, helps funding for schools skilled trades program

FRANKFORT — David Barresi has been teaching students across the country for more than 30 years.

He’s been at Frankfort High School teaching woodworking and skilled trades since the mid-2000′s.

“We all love him, does what he does, and puts lots of time into the students and even is willing to put time after school hours to help us and just make our products and do all the good stuff,” says sophomore Eli Lietaert.


All those years of hard work and dedication were recognized during a surprise school assembly.

Harbor Freight awarded Barresi $15,000 and Frankfort High School $35,000 as part of their “Tools for Schools” prize for teaching excellence.

“I was surprised today. They told me it was something else and I had to go to another meeting,” he says.

He’s one of the 25 teachers across the country to receive this award.


“Oh, it’s really great. We added on to the school and I got a new finished room. However, it’s just the room. So now we can utilize this money to buy the finishing equipment and spray guns and whatever we need. That’s going to be really great,” says Barresi.

Inspiring the next generation of students pursuing careers in the skilled trades.

“So actually, right now I’m working on building a design to build a gun cabinet, and he (Mr. Barresi) actually said that tonight he’s going to go home in his own house and do his own drawing just to make sure I did everything right,” says Lietaert.

The principal of the school, Matt Stapleton, commends him.


“He’ll come a lot of times early in the morning and help kids get their projects done or if they need to, he will stay after,” says Stapleton.

“We always celebrate our sports, but we never celebrate our skilled trades. And so, I’m trying to do that for you. It’s a big celebration,” says Barresi.

Barresi was also recognized by Michigan’s First Congressional District.

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