May 23, 2013 12:00AM
It’s been more than 20 years since Norm Conard was a student at Pittsburg State University, but the memories of his time as a Gorilla remain vivid and inspiring.
“Being at Pitt State was a tremendously wonderful experience,” Conard, who in 1992 received a master’s degree in history from PSU, said. “I greatly enjoyed the focus on the positive, the outstanding faculty and all who were involved in the university.”
Conard was recently named the 2012 Kansan of the Year by the Topeka Capital-Journal. Since 2007, he has served as the director of the Lowell Milken Center in Fort Scott, which focuses on project-based learning and gives students across the country opportunities to work with hands-on history projects.
Conard, a former history teacher at Uniontown High School who holds a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University, said he pursued a degree from PSU due to the university’s proximity to his home and for its reputation.
“I was teaching in Uniontown, and I kept hearing so many great comments about PSU,” he said. “I thought it would be ideal to get a history degree from Pitt, as that’s what I was teaching. It was also a great opportunity because of its closeness to Fort Scott, where I lived.”
The Kansan of the Year award is the latest in a long list of accolades for Conard, which includes Teacher of the Year, National Secondary Social Studies Outstanding Teacher and USAToday All-American teacher.
In 1998, he received a Meritorious Achievement Award from PSU.
“When people ask me about PSU, I tell them that the university always has strong, dynamic leadership that is focused on growth and advancement,” Conard said. “I have tremendous respect for the educators at Pitt State and for the educators they produce within its program.”