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The Carthage Press
  • CJHS teacher honored as a Clyde Phillips Outstanding Educator

  • A Carthage teacher was honored as the Outstanding Educator during Pittsburg State University's Clyde Phillips Awards & Scholarship Ceremony April 9.
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  • A Carthage teacher was honored as the Outstanding Educator during Pittsburg State University's Clyde Phillips Awards & Scholarship Ceremony April 9.
    Melissa Box, a Miami, Okla., native, has taught Carthage Junior High seventh and eighth grade math for seven years. When the growing need for an English Learner Math class became apparent five years ago, she volunteered to take on that challenge. Four years ago, she began a Girls Night Out program for young ladies in the school.
    Box was nominated for the award by CJHS Principal Jenny Bogle.
    “When we nominated her we didn't realize how competitive the award was, we just knew she needed to be recognized,” Bogle said. “She saw a need and volunteered. She's passionate and the students have thrived. I don't think she realizes what an awesome teacher she is … We're proud of her.”
    In response to the award, Box was close to speechless.
    “I'm very honored and humbled – it's a bit overwhelming,” she said.
    The Girls Night Out events usually have anywhere between six to 12 girls attending. She has spearheaded the program with Kayla Fultz for four years; taking the girls out to dinner on occasion, fun activities, making crafts and cooking projects.
    “I hope they learn that teachers are real people,” Box said. “I hope I taught them to connect to people outside their social arena; it's not just about the crafts and cooking – but it's a place to go and someone to rely on. Everyone has a story, and sometimes it's easy to overlook that … If you give a little, you can give someone a lot.”
    The Clyde U. Phillips Outstanding Educator Award goes to two teachers (one elementary and one secondary) who have shown, within their first seven years of service, the potential to make significant contributions to education. To be considered, the nominee must be an alumnus of Pittsburg State University. The other educator awarded this year was Cory Martin, of Frontenac.
    Other winners are: Tim Vesco - Distinguished Service (Teacher) of Frontenac; Kent Wire - Distinguished Service (Administrator) of Chanute. Scholarships were also awarded at the ceremony.
    The Clyde U. Phillips awards were established in memory of Clyde U. Phillips, a graduate of Pittsburg State University and a well-known Kansas educator. Phillips, who met his wife, Fern Field Phillips when they were both students at PSU, completed his career in education as the superintendent of schools in Hays. In their will, the Phillipses bequeathed a sum of money to support the awards.
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