You can tell a great deal about a community and what it values by the investments made and buildings created. The citizens of Carson City invested in the Carson City School District when they voted on a school bond in 2010.
Friday was an exciting day for Pioneer High School and Carson Online when a bulldozer provided the demolition of an old, unmovable modular which was used for decades past its design capabilities. School Board President Ron Swirczek piloted the highly anticipated take down of the old modular. The crashing down of the building provided relief that the project had really started, but also inspired a new challenge for leadership to continue improving the quality of the alternative high school.
Recently, PHS completed a re-accreditation process from an external committee which scored Pioneer well above the International Average on the Index of Education Quality score. PHS staff will continue to be encouraged to keep “pioneering” new ground for the district with the completion of the facility. Pioneer has proven highly successful as an experimental ground for out of the box education and creative thinking.
The schools list of “firsts” include: piloting of the district’s Online Education, a long-standing partnership with outdoor educator Mike Selby, founder of Project Discovery, the district’s first hybrid master schedule, the State’s first successful Health Information Management CTE program, the first yoga class elective offering, and Northern Nevada’s first high school student who earned an associate’s degree in science before graduating with a high school diploma two years ago.
We are very proud of these accomplishments, but feel a sense of challenge to keep moving forward with new ideas. This is what Pioneer High School is all about.
The ground breaking was several years in the making. We want to thank our Carson City Community for voting on this plan, the Pioneer staff and students who have helped provide feedback for the building designs, and Superintendent Richard Stokes, who in his own words, “ let our school evolve,” trusting in the leadership and direction the school has taken. We would also like to thank the CCSD Bond Oversight Committee, the CCSD School Board, district office cabinet, and the folks who are making the plans a reality; Architect Darrin Berger and Marcie Richards, Q&D Construction, and CCSD operations staff, Mark Korinek and Mark Johnson.
Pioneer staff and students have accomplished great things with a focus on careers, higher education after graduation through Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a focus on service for others, medical tech CTE, and many classroom and online options. Our team served 258 high school students on campus in the 2017-2018 last year, and an additional 970 secondary Carson Online students districtwide.
We realize this particular building is a small project for Q&D, but the importance of this improvement is not measurable. Our students will have two modern science classrooms, a CTE room, a library/innovation center, a place to eat indoors, and a multipurpose room. The improved campus will serve generations of Carson City students to come where the staff can help change the trajectory of their lives.
We are very excited to see this new wing started and we will continue to help our students graduate college and career ready with the ability to enrich our community as productive citizens. This improvement might be just a brick and mortar building, but to our team, it is a place to help students change the course of their lives and inspire them to serve others.
Thank you for this opportunity and for your confidence in Pioneer High School.
Jason Zona is principal at Pioneer High School