Joe Vilcheck’s career in education has taken him on a path that he never thought he would take.  Joe knew there was something more he could do for himself and others, so he left a promising career in environmental consulting to teach at a school for adjudicated youth in Western Pennsylvania.     

Joe earned his Master of Arts in Teaching from California University of Pennsylvania, and he was subsequently hired by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit -3 (AIU3) and began teaching at the Shuman Detention Center in Pittsburgh. Blending an outside interest with his instruction, Joe started using magic in the classroom as a way to grab his students’ attention.  Shortly afterward, staff and administration noticed his talent of “inspiring with magic,” and he found opportunities to entertain and motivate his co-workers.

Within the past year, Joe received two state-wide awards that traditionally are given to veteran staff.

In Spring of 2013, Joe was honored by the Correctional Education Association (CEA) by being named “Educator of the Year” for Pennsylvania due to his efforts in the classroom by “making it his mission to have all his students learn in his classes.” 

Joe was also named the 2012 Juvenile Detention Center Association of Pennsylvania (JDCAP) “Educator of the Year.” His dedication to teaching students “how to think, not what to think” made him stand out among other nominations. 

In 2007, Joe received the “Award of Excellence” from the AIU3 due to his leadership and creativity in planning and implementation of classroom procedures and activities. Joe earned it by distinguishing himself in only his third year of instruction.

Today, Joe is well-known throughout the AIU3’s Alternative Education Department, both as a veteran teacher of at-risk teens and as a motivator.  Because of his talents, he is perennially picked by administration to mentor new, incoming teachers.  Joe also developed an on-line induction class for new teachers called “I Have a Job, What do I do Now?” which has achieved success in helping incoming teachers transition from academia to teaching in “real life”.

Joe has worked closely with at-risk students in and out of the Shuman Detention Center and at local programs such as the Community Intensive Supervision Program (CISP).  Additionally, he has worked for Pittsburgh non-profit social service agencies such as Family Links and Wesley Spectrum.  Joe is an active member of both the Society of American Magicians and the Pittsburgh Mentalist Society.  

Mindcheck Motivation is the combination of Joe’s devotion to education, passion for motivation, and love of magic.  
E-mail: joe@mindcheckmotivation.comTelephone: 412-554-2377