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, did well 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, then transitioned 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 stayed involved in his church for the past 50 years and serving as Sunday School Superintendent since 1998. Steve continues to give back to the manufacturing industry and his community. 

On behalf of Pioneer Career & Technology Center and the Pioneer Alumni Association, we feel this year’s honoree exemplifies this award and everything Pioneer and career technical education has to offer.

Pioneer Recognizes The Renaissance Performing Arts Theatre 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 Instructor.  

Pioneer Career & Technology Center is proud to announce The Renaissance Performing Arts Theatre as the Ralph Phillips Business Partner of the year.

Inspired by Ralph Phillips and Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company, this 17-year tradition is one of great honor. The award was created to recognize outstanding businesses who support the goals, mission, and excellence of Pioneer. 

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

Ms. Anne Kurtzman, Pioneer Performing Arts Instructor, nominated The Renaissance & Performing Arts Theatre for the award and expressed her appreciation for all they have done to support the students of Pioneer.  

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

During the school day, students receive instruction by Renaissance staff and work behind the scenes with them for the real-world application of performing art skills. The Renaissance allows students to work on the tech crew for theatre performances, utilize their space for hands on learning opportunities, and also awards Pioneer students with internship opportunities. The partnership is an essential connection to the industry.   

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

Pioneer Career and Technology Center has been providing quality career-technical education to high school juniors 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