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New Year Brings a New Principal to TCHS Pickering

The technical high school which serves T/E students gives pupils a big jump on college credits or careers.

Principal Frank McKnight joins the TCHS Pickering Campus from Springfield School District in Delaware County (Photo Courtesy WCIU)
Principal Frank McKnight joins the TCHS Pickering Campus from Springfield School District in Delaware County (Photo Courtesy WCIU)
Chester County's Technical College High School Pickering Campus in Phoenixville has a new principal this fall.  Frank McKnight joins the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) from Springfield (Delaware County) School District, where he most recently served four years as principal of Springfield High School.

The public high school which is run by the Chester County Intermediate Unit is one of three Technical College High Schools in Chester County that offer career training to high school students who take vocational classes ranging from automotive mechanics to classroom teaching. Many students attend the school for part of the day and their home high school for more traditional academic classes for part of the school day.

Many students who live in the T/E School District attend classes at TCHS Pickering.

According to a news release sent to Patch by the WCIU:

McKnight began his 19-year career in education after working in the accounting field. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Widener University and crunched numbers as an accountant for the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS). Soon after, McKnight tried his hand at teaching for the first time as an instructor for the American Institute of Banking. He loved it so much that, coupled with his experiences as a grade school football and basketball coach, McKnight decided that education was the career for him. He had been on the cusp of beginning an MBA program at Widener, and immediately shifted over to a master’s degree in education instead. 

“I realized how much I enjoyed that moment when a students just ‘gets it,’” he said. “The satisfaction of knowing that I successfully imparted knowledge is one of the best feelings in the world.” After a few years teaching, McKnight chose to put his management background to good use as a building administrator. He served as E.T. Richardson Middle School principal for eight years, before leading Springfield High School for four years. 

“Principal McKnight has extensive educational experience and worked in the business sector before coming into education,” said Dr. Kirk Williard, director of the CCIU’s division of career, technical and customized education. “This combination of skills and experiences will be an asset as he works with the students and staff to set the vision and course of implementation to move the current and new programs forward.” 

Among these new programs is the partnership with Delaware County Community College (DCCC), which will begin offering late afternoon and evening classes at TCHS Pickering this fall. The College also offers classes at the TCHS Pennock’s Bridge Campus in West Grove and the Brandywine Campus in Downingtown. High school students will have the opportunity to enroll in college-level coursework at reduced rates while completing high school curriculum, jumpstarting their post-secondary education and saving money along the way.

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