Pioneer High School honored at Nevada ed department’s Mega Conference |

Pioneer High School honored at Nevada ed department’s Mega Conference

Rebecca Allen
Special to the Appeal

Booker T. Washington said, "Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way."

Taking a different approach to education is Pioneer High School's specialty. Because of their innovative solutions, members of Pioneer's staff were selected to participate in the 2018 Nevada Department of Education Mega Conference. The conference was held in Las Vegas on April 20-22 and followed the theme "Initiatives in Action — Education for Generations to Come."

The International Center for Leadership in Education and Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities at the University of Nevada, Reno collaborated to offer quality professional development covering such topics as effective instruction and using innovative practices in the classroom and school setting. The conference featured highlighted Nevada schools that have been supporting student success through effective programs and practices.

Tanya Watts (special education teacher), Jill Council (distance education coordinator), and Cary Jordan (school counselor) represented PHS and presented their "Portrait of a Hybrid School."

The PHS staff members were able to share about how they developed a successful formula which utilized a flexible hybrid schedule, on-site online labs and classrooms, effective interventions, and a high-caliber and nurturing educational team.

This formula at a small alternative school has resulted in a significant graduation rate increase in the Carson City School District. Pioneer's graduation rate has increased from 29 percent in 2012 to 80.9 percent in 2017.

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In addition to having the remarkable opportunity of presenting at the conference, Pioneer High School was presented an award for being a "Nevada Highlighted School." The award is in recognition of exceptional contributions to the education of Nevada's students.

Watts reflected on Pioneer's success by saying, "We seek the 'why' for each student. This enables us to create effective interventions for each student."

Students at PHS are definitely benefiting from working with dedicated staff members who use a variety of educational approaches.