Soldotna teacher heads to 'space' to help students reach for the stars
James Harris never considered himself a "space geek," until now.
"My wife is, and she was, incredibly jealous of this whole trip, and is still kind of mad at me," Harris told KTVA.
His trip took him out of this world, or at least the next best thing.
The English teacher at Soldotna High School spent a week a Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in July. He earned the trip when Harris became Alaska's Teacher of the Year in December 2016. He and his counterparts from around the country went through training real astronauts do.
"I was the shuttle commander," said Harris, as his crew won the top award during the camp.
They also got to experience other things, such as what it's like to walk on the moon, and water rescues.
"This generation of students we have right now are the 'Mars Generation', they're the ones who are going to be responsible for getting human beings to Mars," Harris said at his campus.
He calls the experience life-changing experience.
"I've had the opportunity to serve on some selection committees for Teacher of the Year, and BP Teachers of Excellence, just going through all the applications, meeting so many great teachers, it just reinvigorates how much I love this profession," he said.
Harris is taking his passion, to help his students do what he did -- reach for the stars.