Archive for May, 2013


Congratulations High School Graduates!

Congratulations to our high school graduates Colby Owens, Justin Dusseau, Micheal Torcita, and Cody Bonar!We are extremely proud of our graduates for all the hard work they have demonstrated during their time at the Pioneer Center. Each child has overcome challenges and made a valiant effort to be the best student  possible.

We would  like to take this   opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the parents,  teachers, aides, and staff that have helped these children along the way.

Be sure to look for a follow-up story highlighting Cody Bonar later this week in the Chillicothe Gazette.

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Congrats Preschool Graduates

Today, 8 young scholars earned their preschool diplomas at a ceremony held in the Pioneer Center Gymnasium. Teachers Bev Billet and Anna Cenci put in a lot of hard work this year to help these children move on to 1st grade. Thanks to all the teachers, aides, and staff who helped these youngsters along the way!


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Preschool Graduation at OU-C

Eight young scholars earned their preschool diplomas today at OU-C’s Early Childhood Center.  It was our first year with this new preschool unit, and it exceeded our expectation. Congratulations are also in order for the teachers: Angela Flowers and Libby Whalen.


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Pioneer’s Annual Staff vs. Students Tee Ball Game

Tuesday night’s annual staff vs. students tee ball game was definitely a “barn burner,” with the students defeating the staff (as they somehow manage to do every year) by a score of 16 – 3.

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Junior Achievement Program Expands to Pioneer

As winter gave way to spring, Junior Achievement (JA) branched out into new territory – the Pioneer Center. The JA provided materials for a 5 week course, which was led by Pioneer staff members John Hock, Director of Adult Services, and Art Nichols, Vocational Specialist. Kathy Ray, JA Liaison, played a crucial role in bringing the program to Pioneer. Kathy, who works with 10 school districts in Ross and Jackson County, helped get the project funded through the JA Board, headed by President William Beatty.

JA teaches young people about free enterprise, money management, and how business works so that they can successfully manage their finances once they become adults. At Pioneer, the program also serves to normalize the idea of working toward competitive employment just like every other high school student.

Pioneer student learned about topics ranging from the economy to credit scores through a variety of games and activities during the lessons. The topic for week one was “Getting to Know Yourself.” John Hocker started the session with a frame held tightly against his chest; “We’ve all heard, when it comes to getting a job, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ right?” Mr. Hocker told the kids that the most important person for them to know was the person on the other side of the frame he held. One by one the kids guessed at the image that would appear when the frame was flipped. Guesses included the President Obama, Governor Kasich, Pioneer’s superintendent Rick Marriott, and so on.  Smiles stretched across the students’ face as Mr. Hocker revealed the mirror that was on the other side of the frame.

The Junior Achievement course is just one way Pioneer is implementing the Employment First Initiative, a program being heavily supported by Governor Kasich. The program emphasizes the importance of employment and people with developmental disabilities, with the goal of full integration into their communities.

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