Pioneer Career & Technology Center Honors Distinguished Alumni, Business Partner of the Year

SHELBY — Pioneer Career & Technology Center is pleased to announce Mr. Steve Tackett as the recipient of the Honorary Pioneer Distinguished Alumni Award.

This award was established for an alumni member who has served as a role model, excelled at Pioneer and continues to live, work and serve in their community.

Steve Tackett is a 1983 Pioneer Graduate from Plymouth who completed the Industrial Drafting program. While at Pioneer, he received the 1983 Citizenship Award.

After graduation, Steve began his career at Hi-Stat Manufacturing as a CAD operator and then moved to Gorman Rupp in Bellville, where he still works today. In his 30 years there, he has continued to use the skills he learned at Pioneer and is now the Engineering Technical CAD Manager.

He has also been involved in his church for the past 50 years and served as Sunday School Superintendent since 1998. Steve continues to give back to the manufacturing industry and his community.

On behalf of the Pioneer Career & Technology Center and the Pioneer Alumni Association, we feel this year’s honorees exemplify this award and all that Pioneer and career technical education has to offer.

Pioneer recognizes Renaissance Performing Arts Theater with 2023 Ralph Phillips Business Partner of the Year

(Left to right): Pioneer Superintendent Greg Nickoli, Mike Miller (Renaissance), Chelsie Thompson, President & CEO Renaissance, and Anne Kurtzman, Pioneer Performing Arts Director.

Pioneer Career & Technology Center is proud to announce The Renaissance Performing Arts Theater as this year’s Ralph Phillips Business Partner.

Inspired by Ralph Phillips and the Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company, this 17-year tradition is a great honor. The award was created to recognize outstanding companies that support Pioneer’s goals, mission and excellence.

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Chelsie Thompson, President & CEO and Mike Miller, Past President, joined staff and families along with Pioneer administrators, past recipients and community members to accept their award in recognition.

Mrs. Anne Kurtzman, Pioneer Performing Arts Director, nominated The Renaissance & Performing Arts Theater for the award and expressed her appreciation for all they have done to support Pioneer’s students.

“The Renaissance Theater has become an integral part of the success of Pioneer’s Performing Arts Program,” Anne shared.

During the school day, students receive instruction from Renaissance staff and work behind the scenes with them for real-world application of performing arts skills. The Renaissance allows students to work on the technical team for theater performances, utilize their space for hands-on learning opportunities, and also rewards Pioneer students with internship opportunities. The partnership is an important connection to the industry.

Pioneer’s Culinary Arts program hosted a dinner event to celebrate the award. Students showed their skills to serve a delicious menu of specialties to our honorees. It is an honor to recognize our business partners; Pioneer is grateful for their continued support.

Pioneer Career and Technology Center has provided quality career-technical education to high school students and seniors for 55 years. We serve over 1,100 students representing over 35 Career Tech programs and 14 partner schools and offer adult education programs. Visit our website at