Inside Business magazine named Meghan Timlin, coordinator of Kempsville High School’s (KHS) Entrepreneurship and Business Academy (EBA), a 2019 Top 40 Under 40 Awards recipient. The annual awards highlight the most outstanding young people in diverse professions across Hampton Roads, according to the magazine.
“I’m excited and honored,” Timlin stated, adding that, “The recognition is for my school and our academy. It’s the work of so many others.”
Honorees are recognized for leadership roles, innovation and mentoring—traits that seem to run in the family of this KHS alumnus. Her father retired as principal of Point O’View Elementary School and her mother was the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ (VBCPS) director of community relations.
“When my parents would work [on weekends], we would ride the scooters from PE and run up and down the hallways,” Timlin vividly recalled.
That love for education is easy to see why she and her siblings, both former VBCPS employees—one a former teacher and the other a former School Plant employee—joined the school division.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing education from Virginia Tech and completing her student teaching, a position opened at Kempsville.
“I taught marketing and leadership skills, and back then it was crazy because I would have my advanced marketing students do business plans,” Timlin said. “So now it’s so funny to work with entrepreneurship students because I feel like that has always been a focus for me, to help students pursue their passion and gain money at the same time—to provide a life for themselves.”
But before becoming the EBA coordinator, this now 17-year educator, spent eight years teaching at KHS, earned her master’s in educational leadership from the University of Virginia, served as the school improvement specialist at Independence Middle School for one year and was that school’s assistant principal for three years.
“And then this opportunity came about,” Timlin stated.
Kempsville was at the ground floor of starting the EBA, which has now grown to 440 students and allows students from across the division to enroll in one of three strands:
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation;
- Business Information Technology; and
- Corporate Finance.
“You can’t teach business in four walls of a school building. Students are going to learn business through the experiences and networking that they have with industry professionals,” Timlin stated. For that reason, the program offers students not only an opportunity to earn an associate degree from Tidewater Community College through the division’s dual enrollment program, but also requires an internship.
“The goal is that students are working alongside industry professionals,” she added. “We want them to try things to see what they like to do and what they don’t like to do. You rule things out along the way—learning what you do and don’t want to do so you can figure out a good path for yourself.”
To further increase student opportunities, Timlin looks for businesses to get involved as guest speakers, opening their doors to field trip experiences, serving as internship providers or supporting the EBA’s annual “Pitch Night” event in June when students present innovative business or product ideas. Their ideas have proven to be top-notch, even resulting in EBA students winning the World Series of Entrepreneurship competition last year.
“It is so rewarding every single day to come into MY high school and to see the changes that have been made here on behalf of students,” she added. “To be able to provide these experiences to students has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Timlin will be honored at an Oct. 8 recognition dinner hosted by the magazine. The “Top 40 under 40” issue will be released Oct. 7.