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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Friday, May 04, 2007

PSU honors educators for service

Clyde U. Phillips Award Recipients Dwayne Taylor, Outstanding Educator-Elementary; Morgan Croan, Outstanding Educator – Secondary; Donna Gibson, Distinguished Service Award – teacher; and Linda Proehl, Distinguished Service Award – Administrator.

The Pittsburg State University College of Education honored a group of local educators for their service, their achievements and their potential with the Clyde U. Phillips awards on May 3. The Clyde U. Phillips Distinguished Service Awards are given to a teacher and an administrator who have distinguished themselves over a lifelong career. The Outstanding Educator Awards are given to an elementary and a secondary teacher who have distinguished themselves during the first seven years of their teaching careers.

The award for distinguished service for a teacher went to Donna Gibson, a third grade teacher in the Riverton School District. Gibson, who received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from PSU in 1973, has taught in Riverton for the past 34 years. The past 30 years, she has taught third grade.

Prior to coming to Riverton, Gibson taught second and third grade for four years at St. Martin’s in Sunnyvale, Calif. During her time there, Gibson started a sports program for girls and coached the seventh and eighth grade basketball, softball and volleyball teams.

Nominators wrote of Gibson that they appreciate her caring and supportive teaching style and her ability to create a structured and disciplined classroom that “provides each student with the opportunity to learn in a stress-free environment.”

One of the things that students say they remember about Gibson’s class is her tradition of rewarding students for good behavior with an end-of-the-year visit to her house for a day.

Linda Proehl, the assistant superintendent of schools in Parsons, Kan., was honored with the Phillips award for distinguished service for an administrator. Proehl earned a master’s degree from PSU in 1993 and an Ed.S. from PSU in 2002.

Proehl started her career as an elementary school teacher. After nine years in the classroom, she spent five years as an elementary school principal. She has served the Parsons school district in her current position for the past nine years.

Proehl’s many accomplishments include securing the Reading First Grant in 2004-2005. As director, Proehl works closely with the literacy coaches from all three elementary schools to implement the program.

The Clyde U. Phillips Outstanding Educator Award for an elementary teacher went to Dwayne Taylor, a kindergarten teacher at Frank Layden Elementary School in Frontenac. Taylor received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Pittsburg State University in 2003. He has taught kindergarten at Frank Layden Elementary School for the past four years.

Taylor’s nominators wrote of his “unwavering devotion to teaching and his unforgettable way of doing so.” One person called his selection as a kindergarten teacher “one of our district’s finest moments.”

Taylor was praised for his belief that “all children can and will make good choices when provided the opportunity to practice and be successful with their choices.”

Morgan Croan, a math teacher at Fort Scott High School, was honored with the Clyde U. Phillips Outstanding Educator Award for a secondary teacher. Croan earned a bachelor’s degree in education from PSU in 2003 and is in her third year of teaching math at Fort Scott High School. She is currently continuing her education at PSU where she is working to become a school psychologist.

Last year, Croan developed and taught Virtual Prescriptive Learning (VPL). VPL math is a computer program that allows for individual instruction for students struggling in math. Croan has presented at the Regional VPL users conference at Greenbush and at the annual state VPL users conference in Wichita and is already one of the most experienced VPL teachers in the region.

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 Pittsburg State University, known then as Kansas State College of Pittsburg, completed his career in education as the superintendent of schools in Hays. In their will, the Phillips bequeathed a sum of money to support the awards.

---Pitt State---