By David Esteppe
When entering the aerospace classroom in the engineering department at Greenbrier East High School (GEHS), a student asks aloud from her computer, “How do I un-squish my air foil?’”
All of the students are well engaged in their work, there is no yawning, even though it is only 8 a.m. They are communicating and help one another with the current assignment.
Then. “We did it, Warfield!” said Ethan Meadows. Apparently, Meadows and a workmate had un-squished the air foil.
Later, it was explained that the students were working on the cross-section of an airplane wing.
At the helm of this high-tech academic bubble is Greenbrier County Schools Teacher of the Year (GCSTY) Kevin Warfield. Warfield teaches civil and aerospace engineering at GEHS and was selected as GCSTY in the spring. He was then selected by the West Virginia Department of Education as one of six county-level candidates to advance for West Virginia Teacher of the Year award consideration.
“My goal every year is to graduate students who are ahead of the curve in the engineering field. I am constantly looking for the next concept or hint of change in industry or technology. I believe in the power of education and that my students can succeed in whatever they choose to do, as long as I can give them the knowledge and the right tools to do so,” Warfield explained.
Senior student Ben Robinson said, “Mr. Warfield brings things to the classroom. I am sure not every school in the state is getting. He brings in professionals to speak on projects and give us guidance on working on the projects in real settings.”
The work happening in this department is real-world projects. Four major projects being targeted for completion this school year include a 3D printed replacement limb for a local dog, a large treehouse for a family in Caldwell, a micro grain harvester, and finally, a new stadium complex for GEHS.
Guess lecturers quite familiar to the students now include Tag Galyean, architect; Scott Yoak, aircraft mechanic, flight instructor and air-show pilot; and Scott Beard, a manufacturing expert.
Last week, Andrea Santos, a Spanish teacher at Logan High School in Logan County was honored as the West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
Greenbrier County Superintendent of Schools Sallie Dalton states, “Greenbrier County Schools is blessed not only with an abundance of high quality educators throughout our system, but to also have one of our own recognized as one of the top six outstanding educators in West Virginia. There are approximately 20,000 teachers throughout the state, and Kevin Warfield, through his determination, dedication and enthusiasm, of which our entire school district is so proud. This young man collaborates with local businesses to bring a relevant and rigorous course of studies to his students. A student who has completed and mastered a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) course of study will have bright and secure career opportunities in their future.”’
A contingency of Warfield’s class stated that they were ironically glad that their teacher didn’t win, because they said, “He would have been traveling around the state all year and we would have missed out on him too many days!”
Sarah Leslie, Ben Robinson, Instructor of the Year Kevin Warfield, Ethan Meadows, Conner Morgan and Erin Leslie sporting Spartan pride in the engineering lab.
Teacher of the Year for Greenbrier County Schools Kevin Warfield working with students in the engineering program at Greenbrier East High School.