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UW College of Education Honors Alumni and Former Faculty


June 2, 2011 — Education AwardsThe University of Wyoming College of Education honored alumni and former faculty members at its recent 2011 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty Awards luncheon.

This year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Jerry Paxton, of Encampment, and former Rawlins resident William Pettus, of Jackson. Distinguished Former Faculty Award honorees are Mina Bayne and Edward Paradis, Laramie.

Distinguished alumni biographies:

Paxton has spent most of his career in Carbon County District two schools. With the exception of limited-term assignments as principal at Hanna-Elk Mountain High School, Paxton's entire career was spent as a teacher and principal in Encampment. By the time he retired in 2005, he had served in the classroom for 27 years and as a principal in the district for another seven years.

In 1983, Paxton earned an M.A. in vocational agriculture from UW and was a mentor for Future Farmers of America (FFA). Paxton was a member of, and presided over, both the Wyoming Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association and the Wyoming Vocational Association. He was the first agricultural education teacher to serve on the national FFA board of directors. Paxton served six years on the National Council for Agricultural Education.

Pettus spent his 35-year career working as a teacher, counselor and educational leader in California.

He was a teacher and counselor at Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. Pettus received his second master's degree from California State College in Fullerton and served as coordinator of special education and school psychologist for the Rim of the World Unified School District in Lake Arrowhead, Calif. He was superintendent of Mariposa Unified School District, which he not only moved out of a $1million debt, but also helped to lead four facilities to "distinguished school" status.

The California State Senate and Assembly, the California School Leadership Academy, the Association of California School Administrators and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association all recognized Pettus' leadership as superintendent by the time he retired.

Former faculty biographies:

Bayne received her B.A. in 1963, M.Ed in 1971 and Ph.D in 1984. She became an associate professor for the UW College of Education in 1987 and was promoted to full professor in 1993. She also served as special assistant to the dean and associate dean for undergraduate studies.

UW presented Bayne the Ellbogen Excellence in Teaching Award in 1990. She received the National Association of Laboratory Schools Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and the Wyoming School-University Partnership's Outstanding Service and Leadership in School Renewal Award in 1998.

A former chair of Japan-Related Curriculum Project's Wyoming team, Bayne also served on the Wyoming State Teacher Education Initiative board, and was president of both the Wyoming State Reading Council and the National Association of Laboratory Schools.

An educator for 32 years, Paradis graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1963 and later returned to pursue a doctorate. He taught at the University of Georgia for two years before coming to UW.

UW's associate dean for undergraduate studies in 1998, Paradis participated in the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) Leadership Associates group.

Paradis was active in the International Reading Association, the American Educational Research Association, National Reading Conference, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and the Association for Teacher Educators.

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