GARDNER — Rick Poff, a business teacher at PikeView High School, said he is happy to be a teacher and is proud of his students.
Poff has been at PikeView for two years and also taught at Princeton Senior High School and Glenwood Elementary for a total of six years as a teacher.
Poff received his undergraduate business degree from Bluefield College. While at BC, he was encouraged to volunteer to make his resume look good and spent time at Brushfork Elementary.
Poff was in business for 17 years, but often thought about his time spent at Brushfork. He decided to go back to school and obtained his masters degree in pre-K to sixth grade education at Liberty University. He later added several certificates which would allow him to teach high school, business, social studies and marketing.
Poff also recently finished the administration and supervision certificate program at Concord University that grants him the license to be principal.
Though there are 700 students at PikeView, Poff said he doesn’t see a lot of problems with behavioral issues and that the students are smart kids. He also said the school has a great faculty.
“It’s a family-type atmosphere,” he said.
Poff, who also servs as business department chair, said he is proud of his students and their accomplishments.
In October, two students competed in the business challenge held at Concord University. One student won first place in marketing, while another won second place in accounting.
PikeView also serves as an extension of the Mercer County Technical Education Center with programs such as business, JROTC and family and consumer science. The school had two completer students last year, and now has 44.
Poff is currently working with his students on a portfolio that replaces the Capstone Project — formerly known as the senior project. The portfolio has several requirements including a resume, job application, college application, technical writings, reference letters and 50 service learning hours. Poff said he was surprised to learn that some students were already close to obtaining their 50 hours of service learning due to time they have already spent working in the community.
One of Poff’s favorite classes to teach is personal finance which covers information about managing money, including managing apartment leases and credit card debt.
“It’s one of the single most important classes in the school,” he said.
Poff grew up in Mercer County and is a Bluefield High School graduate. He also spent time in the Army and was deployed to Saudi Arabia to support Desert Shield/Storm. He escorted prisoners from forward areas back to POW camps.
In his department, he also works with Mrs. Roberts, a substitute teacher with a business education degree who started at PikeView in September.
— Contact Jackie Puglisi at email@example.com