2019 Teacher of the Year:
Richard Knoeppel has been a teacher for thirty-two years and has spent the last twenty-four teaching Architectural Design at Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) in Las Vegas, Nevada. A product of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Industrial Arts Education at Oswego State. He started his teaching career at Northport High School, on Long Island, where he ran one of the first networked Macintosh labs in the country. This is where he developed his love of technology and a passion for STEM. In 1994 he moved to Las Vegas and began teaching Technology at Robison Middle School. In the fall of 1995 Knoeppel opened the CADD program at A-TECH.
His belief that every child can succeed has helped to build a nationally recognized program of study in Architectural Design. His students consistently earn awards in local, regional and national architecture competitions for their design work. He is a Teacher Leader in his building serving as CTE Department Chair and School Organizational Team Chair. He has also done work for the Nevada Department of Education developing Career and Technical Education standards and assessments as well as having participated in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) workgroups focusing on funding and teacher preparation programs. Knoeppel is a member of the Nevada STEM Advisory Council where he works to raise awareness of STEM education in Nevada. Richard is also a member of the inaugural Teach Plus fellowship in Nevada where he is working to develop career pathways for teachers.