Numbers. In the case of Phil Pearson, numbers – impressive ones – tell part of the story of his career at SHS. Mr. Pearson arrived at SHS in 1966 and taught English and humanities for 46 years. He also served as Academic Challenge advisor for 41 years, junior class advisor for two years and senior class advisor for 30 years. In addition he served as football equipment manager for 41 years, and this year will mark his 48th season as basketball clock operator and pole vault judge. He also served as timer at the State Girls Basketball Tournament in 1990.
But numbers tell only part of the story. “Very few people have impacted a larger number of students and adults than Phil Pearson,” says a colleague who also was one of Mr. Pearson’s former students. “Phil is a very giving person who always puts the needs of others ahead of himself. His students will remember him for the blue book, his tests, his information from his travels and the research paper they had to write. But they also appreciate how he prepared them for college success.”
Mr. Pearson graduated from Westerville High School in 1962. He then earned a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein College and a master’s from Bowling Green in 1981. In addition he studied at Ashland Theological Seminary, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Ohio State University and Ohio Wesleyan University.
He began his career as a 9th grade teacher at Shelby Junior High School in 1966 and in 1971 was transferred to SHS to teach all grades in English and humanities. In addition to his teaching in Shelby, Mr. Pearson led many student and adult groups in tours to almost 50 countries on nearly every continent so that others could enjoy the rest of the world as he does.
He is a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and has served as an organist at First Presbyterian Church, First United Church of Christ, St. Mark’s and Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. He taught Sunday School at First Presbyterian and served as youth director at First United Methodist for one year. He has served as president of the Shelby Council of Churches for 41 years, overseeing the local Meals-on-Wheels program and Crop Walks, Blanket Sundays, Messiah presentations and worship services at the two care centers in Shelby.
Mr. Pearson is a member of the American Guild of Organists, serving as treasurer, registrar and newsletter editor for the local chapter. He also served on the local American Cancer Society Board for 25 years and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Shelby Home and Public Health.
Mr. Pearson has received the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award, the Jess Rath Christian Volunteer Service Award, the Charles Williams 6th Man Award, the North West Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Distinguished Service Award, and is Honorary Chapter Farmer in the Shelby FFA.
He lives in Shelby. His nominator and presenter: John Gies ’84