The following article was originally published in The Morning Sun.
Pittsburg, KS – Pitsco Education, a leading hands-on education company for 50 years this year, was sold recently to the Crossland Family, ensuring that Pitsco will maintain its roots in Pittsburg, Kansas, according to a press release sent out Wednesday morning.
Founder and CEO Dr. Harvey Dean said in the release his decision to sell Pitsco hinged on the new owners’ commitment to grow the company around its long-standing mission to lead education that positively affects learners from its campus in southeast Kansas.
As a testament to that fact, Ivan Crossland Jr., CEO of Crossland Construction of Columbus, Kansas, said in the release he will keep Pitsco running as is with no changes to personnel, internal structure, or product development.
“Pitsco Education, LLC, will continue to develop and market K-12 STEM, robotics, coding, and drone solutions and curriculum across the US and the world,” Crossland said in the release.
Dean said he didn’t imagine when starting Pitsco that it would grow as it has during the past half century. What started as a small business in 1971 creating hands-on learning kits — most famously their C02 car kits — in Dean’s garage, has grown into a company with international reach creating new and exciting ways for kids to learn about STEM topics.
According to the release, more than 280 million students have used Pitsco products, and hundreds of employees have contributed to Pitsco’s educational offerings that are designed to reach and teach all students, regardless of their preferred learning styles.
“Our focus has always been on students and teachers, helping them to experience relevance in education through the kits, equipment, and materials we provide. The Crossland family will continue to take that same approach and lead Pitsco into the next 50 years,” Dean said in the release. “We appreciate our employees’ tireless efforts and will miss drawing from their strength and determination to offer the best STEM education materials anywhere.”
According to the release, Dean consulted with Crossland 17 years ago when the construction company was starting what has become an award-winning construction education program. Crossland said in the release that his experience with Dean spurred his interest in acquiring Pitsco.
“Crossland constructs the school buildings where Pitsco Education products and tools assist educators in providing effective and creative learning experiences,” Crossland said. “We have great respect for what the Dean family has built. The Pitsco leadership team and 100-plus employees have formed an innovative international education company poised to bring education to life for students over the next 50 years.”
According to the release, the sale was completed on June 30. Pitsco will continue to be directed by President Lisa Paterni, who has served in that role for more than 13 years. Paterni oversees the Pitsco Way Leadership Team that handles the company’s day-to-day operations.
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