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College of Education honors educators

April 27, 2010 12:00AM

The Pittsburg State University College of Education will honor three teachers and an administrator for their distinguished service, excellence, and outstanding efforts at the annual Clyde U. Phillips Awards Recognition Ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, in McCray Recital Hall. Student scholarships will also be awarded as part of the ceremony. A reception will precede the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in the McCray Hall Lobby.

Distinguished Service Award
The Clyde U. Phillips Distinguished Service Award is given to one teacher and one administrator whose careers have been highlighted by significant achievement and excellence in education. This year, the administrator's award goes to Steve Parsons, superintendent of USD 413 in Chanute, Kan. The educator's award goes to John Holloway, an 11th/12th grade physics teacher at Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kan.

Parsons has served as superintendent of the Chanute Public Schools since 1999. His service to education stretches back nearly 40 years, beginning as a mathematics teacher and coach at Cherryvale Junior/Senior High School in 1971. Parsons taught at Southeast High School from 1972 until 1983. He took a teaching position at Pittsburg High School in 1985, rising to become first an assistant principal and then, in 1989, principal at PHS. In 1996, Parsons left PHS to become the superintendent of schools in Humbolt USD 258, a job he held until being named superintendent in Chanute.

In each community in which he has worked, Parsons had become deeply involved in civic as well as school activities. In Chanute, he is an active member of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and is the co-chairperson of the Chanute Economic Development Committee. He worked on the successful effort to pass a bond issue to build two new school buildings and renovate a third and in 2008 was selected by the Chamber of Commerce for its Partner in Progress Award.

Parsons received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and master's degree in school administration, both from PSU.

Holloway has spent his teaching career at Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kan., where he arrived in 1995. Over the past 15 years, Holloway has taught physical science, chemistry, astronomy, physics and AP physics. For the past five years, he has served as the chairman of the Science Department and as a member of the Blue Valley High School Leadership Team. He has been a leader, both in his district and beyond, in student assessment.

Holloway's many awards include 2005 Blue Valley High Teacher of the Year and the 1999 and 2008 Blue Valley High School Parent Club Teacher of the Year. Outside the classroom, Holloway serves or has served as the BVHS Science Olympiad Sponsor, the team sponsor for the BVHS at Avila University Math and Science Competition for Young Women, the keyholder for the Astronomical Society of Kansas City, the assistant debate coach, the assistant girls' golf coach, the junior class sponsor, and the BVHS Science Knowledge Bowl sponsor.

Holloway received a bachelor of science degree in physics from PSU in 1992 and a master of arts degree in science education from the University of Iowa in 1995.

Outstanding Educator Award
The Outstanding Educator Award goes to persons who have shown, within their first seven years of service, the potential to make significant contributions to education. The 2010 Outstanding Educator Awards go to Andrea Merrick, a fourth grade teacher at Frank Layden Elementary School in Frontenac, Kan., and Christen Jackson, a mathematics teacher at Girard High School in Girard, Kan.

Merrick received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from PSU in 2003 and a master of science degree in elementary education from PSU in 2008. Since 2003, she has served and taught fourth grade at Frank Layden Elementary. She is also the head volleyball coach at the junior high school. She serves on the Professional Development Committee for the district and has worked on the Science and Writing Committee.

Jackson received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics education from PSU in 2006 and will complete her graduate degree at PSU in May. She began her teaching career as a seventh grade math teacher at Carthage Junior High School. She joined the staff at Girard High School in 2007. At Girard, Jackson has been involved in numerous committees and has been a leader in the Math Department and in school improvement. In addition to her teaching duties, Jackson has served as an assistant volleyball and basketball coach and has served as the freshman class sponsor.

The Clyde U. Phillips awards were established in memory of Clyde U. Phillips, a graduate of Pittsburg State University and a well-known Kansas educator. Phillips, who met his wife, Fern Field Phillips when they were both students at PSU, completed his career in education as the superintendent of schools in Hays. In their will, the Phillipses bequeathed a sum of money to support the awards.

For more information about the Clyde U. Phillips awards and ceremony, contact the College of Education at 620-235-4518.

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