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Memorial Tribute to Phyllis Dryden, Former NV State Director

Former Nevada State Director Phyllis L. Dryden, 63, passed away Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at her home in Carson City, Nevada after a valiant battle with cancer. She passed peacefully with family in attendance.

Mike Raponi, Nevada State Director shared with NASDCTEc that Phyllis Dryden worked at the Department of Education for nearly twenty years, and served as the Director for Career, Technical and Adult Education for fourteen years.  Mike also said that “Throughout the Department, Phyllis exhibited a passion for CTE and adult education that was contagious; across the State, she was known as someone who cared deeply about education.

Phyllis was a stable force in CTE, providing leadership during transitional phases when the discipline evolved from occupational education to workforce education to career and technical education.  And it was under her leadership when the State first developed state skill standards; standards exist for more than twenty-five CTE programs today.

Phyllis was also known for her work ethic.  She never slowed down, approaching each day with a can-do attitude in the face of a relentless work load. But for Phyllis, that work load was rarely a burden; rather, it represented a challenge she enthusiastically faced most every day.”

From Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director: “Phyllis was a strong, passionate advocate for CTE and a warm, kind-hearted person. I will miss her dearly.”

Milt Ericksen, AZ State Director, shared “I first met Phyllis Dryden at the NASDCTEc spring 2001 meeting.  She had been in her position for several years and immediately volunteered to be a peer mentor/advisor when I had questions on any topic (I had hundreds).  During that first year we began what became a long-term friendship built on mutual respect and the desire to make our states leaders in CTE.   We would call and e-mail each other regularly, took turns serving as Board liaisons from our region and laughed, told stories and just plain had a lot of fun along the way.  Phyllis Dryden epitomized true leadership in CTE and will be greatly missed, but always remembered and revered by me.”

Vicki Newell, Executive Director of the Northern Nevada Literacy Council noted that “I’ve known Phyllis since December 1993 and feel privileged to have both a working relationship and friendship with her.  She had a “walk softly/carry a big stick” leadership style that I respected because I always knew where I stood with her.  She cared very deeply for those who worked for and with her and particularly cared about the students her department served.  She was a super individual.”

Phyllis’s obituary states “throughout her life she received many awards and commendations and in 2010, the year she retired, she received the “Bill Trabert Memorial Award” for lifetime achievement in education.”

The full obituary can be accessed online. If you wish to send a card to the family, please send to Phyllis’s son and daughter, Julie Campos and Ryan Hawkins, 813 Lexington, Carson City, NV 89703.

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