Recent Press

Press Releases, News & Updates from Explore and all of our education efforts.

Chuck Parker receives 2021 Outstanding Industry Educator Award

CHARLES TOWN — The Explore the New Manufacturing Program announced that Chuck Parker has been recognized with an Outstanding Industry Educator Award in the middle school division for his dedication in the classroom.

Seth Spaulding Receives 2021 Emerging Elite in Manufacturing Award

IMG 13491 Seth Spaulding head shotRipley, WV, May 22, 2021 – The Explore the New Manufacturing Program announced today that Seth Spaulding has been recognized with an Emerging Elite in Manufacturing Award for his work in the classroom. A Ripley High School student, Spaulding has excelled as a leader in his Roane-Jackson Technical Center courses. Spaulding will receive a $500 award designated for scholarships, certification fees, or specialty equipment. He will also be presented with a commemorative wooden plaque and gift basket featuring products made in West Virginia.

“Seth has excelled in his welding class and the shop area. He is a leader and foreman in the Simulated Workplace and has also earned state welding certificates in SMAW, GMAW, and GTAW plates and pipes. As a Junior and a Senior, Seth represented RJTC in the State Skills competition in Welding,” Brent Fields, Welding Instructor, Roane-Jackson Technical Center.

Jared Voldness Receives 2021 Outstanding Industry Educator Award

headshot 1Parkersburg, WV, May 21, 2021 – The Explore the New Manufacturing Program announced today that Jared Voldness been recognized with an Outstanding Industry Educator Award in the high school division for his dedication in the classroom. Voldness, a teacher at the Wood County Technical Center and the Caperton Center for Applied Technology, works with students in the areas of pre-engineering and computer science. Voldness will receive a $500 award designated for classroom enhancement. He will also be presented with a commemorative wooden plaque and gift basket featuring products made in West Virginia.

“Jared gives an enormous amount of time to benefit students. One example is starting a First Robotics Club with another instructor. He meets with students after school and at times on weekends. Jared and some of his students made PPE equipment utilizing the 3D printer. These were donated to various healthcare professionals,” Pier Bocchini, Principal Wood County Technical Center & Caperton Center for Applied Technology.

Cody Buckley Receives 2021 Emerging Elite in Manufacturing Award

picture of meSouth Charleston, WV, May 14, 2021 – The Explore the New Manufacturing Program announced today that Cody Buckley has been recognized with an Emerging Elite in Manufacturing Award for his work in the classroom. A South Charleston High School student, Buckley has excelled in his honors engineering classes and hopes to pursue a career in civil engineering or carpentry.   Buckley will receive a $500 award designated for scholarships, certification fees, or specialty equipment.  He will also be presented with a commemorative wooden plaque and gift basket featuring products made in West Virginia. 

“Cody exemplifies a student of excellence and is involved in many programs throughout SCHS and a group leader in pre-engineering. He has assisted in implementing cooperative learning in our engineering classes and has been a dedicated student who has strengthened SCHS's PLTW program. Cody has certifications in Safety, Autodesk Inventor, and Revit, and the four courses in the SCHS Project Lead the Way program. Cody is a standout in the community and has a positive attitude every day,” Tambra Kascic, Mathematics, Pre-Engineering and Robotics Instructor, South Charleston High School.

Mark O’Dell Receives 2021 Outstanding Industry Educator Award

Mark ODell HeadshotCraigsville, WV, May 19, 2021 – The Explore the New Manufacturing Program announced today that Mark O’Dell has been recognized with an Outstanding Industry Educator Award in the high school division for his dedication in the classroom. O’Dell, a teacher at Nicholas County Career and Technical Center, works with students in the areas of carpentry and building construction. O’Dell will receive a $500 award designated for classroom enhancement. He will also be presented with a commemorative wooden plaque and gift basket featuring products made in West Virginia.

“As a general contractor with over two decades of experience, Mark possesses both expert knowledge of the trade as well as invaluable local contacts. His enthusiasm for excellent craftsmanship breathed new life into a struggling program, and his connections within the community spring boarded incredible opportunities for his students. After the floods that devastated our communities in 2016, Mark’s building and construction program built a tiny home that was donated to a local family. He has recently spearheaded a massive partnership with Mountain Lake Campground, one of the biggest outdoor adventure destinations in our region.” Tim Bayless, Principal, Nicholas County Career and Technical Center.

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