Lyle Crossley

All Saints Episcopal School, Fort Worth

Teaches: High school physics, structural engineering
Education: Bachelor of Science, Auburn University; Archaeology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Experience: 24 years, including 23 at All Saints

Lyle Crossley’s students have designed, funded, built and raced full-size solar-powered electric cars the last three years. So the school this year is turning the club project into a class.

To Crossley, the ever-changing project represents what he and his wife, the English department chair at All Saints, enjoy about teaching.

“It’s something you’re always changing and refining,” he said. Private school students aren’t subject to state-required tests. “It’s all about college admissions, and college success is what we’re measured by.”

Crossley’s students have raised a total $59,000 over the last three years to build three cars that they raced in an annual competition against more than 100 other schools.

A local business has donated space for the students to work in, but, with the creation of a course, Crossley is looking to move the project on campus this year. Students previously worked on the cars in the evenings and weekends and over the summer. “They had to give up a lot of their time to do it,” he says.

Lokey Metals in Fort Worth has donated the metal. The students buy an electric motor and solar modules from different suppliers.

The vehicle has typically been open-frame, but “this year, we’re trying to make a fiberglass body and make it a little more aerodynamic,” Crossley says. “We just keep adding different kinds of skills.”

Parent Elliott Wright, in nominating Crossley, said, “He is a scientist who is gifted with the ability to teach. He loves kids, and kids love him - and they learn from him.”

Off the clock, Crossley says, “We just became grandparents. That’s kind of occupied us a little bit.” The couple has a daughter doing a medical residency in Houston. “We love to travel and read.”