Meet the Current Teacher of the Year (TOY)


  • Teacher Richard Knoeppel and Gov. Sandoval

Richard Knoeppel

"What an incredible honor and privilege to be able to serve the State of Nevada and represent all of its educators as the 2019 Teacher of the Year. Over the course of the next year I look forward to the professional growth I will experience, but am equally excited to share ideas and network with the fifty-seven other individuals who I will be taking this journey with. I know through our interaction we will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discourse related to teaching and professional practice that will help us as a group to prioritize goals for advocacy and education policy. I look forward to using my voice on a national platform to promote equity for all students and to raise educational awareness while elevating the teaching profession.
I feel blessed to be a part of the 2019 Teacher of the Year network. This cohort of compassionate, knowledgeable, and strong teacher leaders represent the very best our country and profession have to offer. Being Teacher of the Year is a journey that changes you; it should change you. The next year will forever alter my professional trajectory by providing me with knowledge, memories, and professional relationships that will influence me and my actions for the rest of my career."

Richard Knoeppel has been a teacher for the past 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 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 Richard 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. Richard 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.