Clayton Burch, Superintendent of Schools skydiving in Support of military enlistment

CHARLESTON, W. VA. – State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch plunged at 120 miles per hour for a great cause recently. He participated in the U.S. Army Reserve Educator Tour at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. The three-day event included a tandem jump with the Golden Knights U.S. Army Parachute Team on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. The event highlighted military enlistment as a post-secondary option for high school students.

The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) have designated enlistment as one of the three E’s along with education and employment as a post-secondary career readiness pathway. The event allowed educators to participate in the jumps and other activities to see military career options in action.

“There is no better way to show this commitment than to lead by example, participating in the Army Reserve’s Educator Tour event,” said Superintendent Burch. “Our support of military career options further signifies our efforts to promote student success.”

The purpose of the Tour also allowed the WVDE to highlight the important relationship it has with military partners of the Common Ground Partnership.

This partnership consists of military, government and community-based organizations focused on the success of all students. The Common Ground Partnership offers online supports which include a system for educators to request military guest speaker visits and school resources for participation in events associated with Military Signing Week. Earlier this month, the partnership announced the second class of the Purple Star Award, which recognizes military-friendly schools in West Virginia.

WVDE Coordinator of Educator Development and Support Services Robert Mellace also participated in the tour.

The video of Superintendent Burch’s big jump can be found on the Department’s social media pages.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or

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