Welcome to the Forge Ahead Podcast! For this episode, we are joined by Christine Miller, Superintendent of Taylor County Schools, and Matthew Knopp, Assistant Principal and CTE Coordinator at Grafton High School, to discuss career readiness strategies and CTE opportunities for students in Taylor County, WV.
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The 2020-2021 school year marks Christine Miller’s third year as the superintendent for Taylor County Schools. Prior to joining Taylor County, Mrs. Miller served as a classroom teacher, Dean of Students, Principal, and Executive Director with the West Virginia Department of Education. Mrs. Miller has enjoyed a 36-year career in education, developing and sustaining collaborative partnerships to bring the best to all students and systems she has had the pleasure to work alongside. A cornerstone of excellence for all and a passion for the success of others is what guides Mrs. Miller daily.
Matthew Knopp is one of two current Vice Principals at Grafton High School, where he oversees Career and Technical Education, testing, and other administrative duties. Previously, he was an Agriculture Science Teacher that was recognized as the 2017-2018 Harrison County Schools Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the award in 2018-2019. He taught for 15 years, in which Mr. Knopp was active within Career Technical Education in its entirety. He is a graduate of West Virginia University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Environmental Education. Additionally, Mr. Knopp has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Salem University. Mr. Knopp has been involved in his school and community as the past Faculty Senate Chair, FFA Advisor, and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. He has been active with the Farm Bureau, Lions Club, Clarksburg Mission, and various initiatives with the WVU Children’s Hospital. Mr. Knopp truly believes in the power of career and technical education and was delighted to be selected to speak with the WV State Senate Subcommittee about agriculture education in West Virginia.
0:26 – Our host, Frank Vitale, opens the episode.
1:03 – Frank introduces the guests: Christine Miller and Matthew Knopp.
5:09 – Frank provides a brief overview of the Career Readiness West Virginia initiative.
9:04 – Superintendent Miller discusses the local economy and career opportunities in Taylor County.
16:39 – Mr. Knopp discusses Taylor County Schools’ CTE programs.
21:23 – Frank asks the guests how Taylor County Schools is partnering with community leaders and seeking input from local industry.
40:11 – Superintendent Miller and Mr. Knopp talk about how they utilize resources and support from the West Virginia Department of Education.
44:56 – Frank and the guests talk about collaborating with the WVCTCS and higher education.
49:43 – Mr. Knopp discusses career pathway opportunities for students.
55:46 – Frank asks the guests how they are ensuring students are prepared and career-ready during this time.
1:06:50 – Superintendent Miller and Mr. Knopp give their closing thoughts.
1:13:08 – Frank closes the podcast.
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