January marked a transition in leadership at Upper Valley Career Center in Piqua with the retirement of Dr. Nancy Luce and the appointment of Mr. Jason Haak to the position of superintendent. This transition left a vacancy in the Executive Director position at the high school level. A full search was conducted and ultimately, Mrs. Michelle Brunson, Instructional Supervisor at the Career Center, was selected to fulfill the position.
Mrs. Brunson is a 1993 graduate of Anna High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from The Ohio State University and her Master’s degree and principal licensure from the University of Dayton. Mrs. Brunson taught high school agricultural education for 15 years, with ten of those at Anna High School. She then accepted an instructional supervisor position at Upper Valley Career Center where she oversaw the agricultural education and family consumer science programs on campus and in satellite locations throughout UVCC’s 14 associate school districts.
“Michelle has been a leader in career tech for years both locally and across the state. Her experiences as a career technical teacher and her advocacy for career tech at the state and national level with professional organizations make her uniquely qualified for the Executive Director position,” said Mr. Haak. “As a supervisor at UVCC, Michelle is familiar with the organization and has worked closely with associate school principals and counselors, which will help make a seamless transition.”
Mrs. Brunson is grateful for the experiences that have brought her to this point in her career.
“Working in a school that is close to home has always been important to me. I have been involved with career-technical education since high school and I could not imagine doing anything different. When I saw the opportunity to work at Upper Valley Career Center, I knew it was the place for me. After spending 15 years in the classroom educating students, I knew that the position as an instructional supervisor would allow me to work with students as well as other educators, and the Executive Director position just takes it to the next level,” said Brunson. “UVCC is a school that truly cares about student success, and I am proud to be a part of such a great school system.”
When asked about the most enjoyable parts of her career, Mrs. Brunson shared how she loves working with students and witnessing their success. She has seen this in the classroom as well as through participation in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) like FFA, FCCLA, SkilsUSA, and Educators Rising.
“Watching the students compete in local, state, and national competitions, then celebrating their success at those large conventions, is life-changing for many of them. It’s so rewarding.”
Mrs. Brunson looks forward to fully embracing the role of Executive Director and carrying on the legacy of excellence that has been established by her predecessors.
For more information about Upper Valley Career Center and the opportunities available to both high school and adult students, please visit www.uppervalleycc.org.