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Pioneer is celebrating 50th anniversary March 29

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Mar 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM

SHELBY — Pioneer Career and Technology Center is turning 50 this year. Along with a ceremony celebrating the milestone, an alumni meet-up is planned.

Pioneer began as Pioneer Joint Vocational School, serving nine home schools. It later expanded to include 14 home schools. The doors opened Sept. 4, 1968 with 487 students, 19 vocational programs and 112,000 square feet. Today, Pioneer has more than 1,100 students, 36 career tech programs and 240,000 square feet.

On Friday, March 29, the 50th celebration consists of three events.

The morning will start out with “Pancakes for Parents” for current students and their parents.

At 11 a.m. in the Gale J. Leimbach Arena, a ceremony will take place featuring several past superintendents plus Darrell Parks, who will speak on the influence career technical schools such as Pioneer have been throughout the country. Parks was the state director of career technical education for about 15 years covering the late 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s. Due to limited seating, anyone wishing to attend the ceremony should make a reservation by calling the school.

The final event of the day will be the Pioneer Alumni Meet-up from 4 to 7 p.m. in the cafeteria, since its location has never changed.

“Career centers don’t typically have class reunions since our student officially graduate from their home schools, so the meetup is for all our alumni to reminisce and check out how our school and programs have changed,” said Greg Nickoli, Pioneer’s superintendent.

During the alumni meet-up, tours will be available, the career tech labs and a Pioneer museum will be open. Alumni are encouraged to come out and see how much everything has changed in the last 50 years.

For more information, or to make reservations for the 11 a.m. ceremony, call Pioneer at 419-347-7744, ext. 42101.

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