Pioneer High names employee and teacher of the year

Phyllis Atkinson

Phyllis Atkinson

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It has been said that good people bring out the good in other people. The sentiment rings true for two very special employees at Pioneer High School, Phyllis Atkinson and Monica Ward. They were nominated by their peers to be recognized for their tremendous efforts. Atkinson is the educator of the year for PHS and Ward is the classified employee of the year for PHS.

Atkinson provides instruction for grades 9 to 12 in biology, health science CTE and health information management I and II CTE. In her first year at PHS, Atkinson jumped right into the CTE program when she saw that someone needed to help keep the program running. Students from her classes have worked to become basic life support providers, first aid technicians and future health care industry employees. Atkinson is helping students to create viable career pathways. She embraced the role of lead science teacher for the campus, assisted new teachers and actively continued her professional development. She has taken students on a number of science field trips, has invited guest speakers to her classroom and has taken students to participate in a state HOSA/CTE competition. Jason Zona, PHS principal, describes Atkinson as a “master teacher.” She is highly respected by her colleagues and students.

Ward is the office manager at PHS. She works directly with students, administration, teachers, families and other staff on a regular basis. Ward created the school’s first PTA committee. She also facilitated an additional parent and family night to encourage family participation at PHS. In addition to her job as office manager and DAC, she volunteers her time to help students after school and connects local businesses with the school for additional partnerships. Ward serves on the school’s weekly leadership team known as the Student Intervention Team. She is motivated, resourceful and talented. She treats her fellow staff, students, families and administration with great care. Ward provides the highest level of care, empathy and compassion for students. Zona said, “The ways in which she has helped students are immeasurable.”

Atkinson and Ward definitely help to “bring out the good” at Pioneer High School.


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