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Crossland Family purchases Pitsco

New owner says it's business as usual for leading STEM education company

Published July 7, 2021

PITTSBURG, KS (July 7, 2021) – Pitsco Education, a leading hands-on education company for 50 years, was sold recently to the Crossland Family, ensuring that Pitsco will maintain its roots in Pittsburg, Kansas.

(Printable PDF)

Founder and CEO Dr. Harvey Dean said 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. Ivan Crossland Jr., CEO of Crossland Construction of Columbus, Kansas, said 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.

Dean said he didn't imagine when starting Pitsco that it would grow as it has during the past half century. 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. “We appreciate our employees' tireless efforts and will miss drawing from their strength and determination to offer the best STEM education materials anywhere.”

Dean consulted with Crossland 17 years ago when the construction company was starting what has become an award-winning construction education program. Ivan Crossland Jr. said that experience 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.”

The sale was completed on June 30, 2021. 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.

Among Pitsco's latest developments is a partnership with another hands-on education leader, TTS International of Great Britain. Pitsco has exclusive rights to offer a wide assortment of TTS's early-learning manipulatives and activities to the US market.



Pitsco Education is the leading provider of hands-on K-12 STEM solutions. STEM education prepares learners for the future through the integration of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts using relevant hands-on applications to connect school, community, and work. Our various products, activities, curriculum, and solutions promote positive learning experiences and continued classroom success.

Founded in 1977 by Ivan "Red Iron" Crossland, Crossland is recognized as one of the top construction firms in the nation. Through the years, the Crossland Family has expanded into heavy construction (Crossland Heavy Contractors), in-house precast plant (Crossland Prefab), and a development and holding company (Crossland Realty Group). Our core purpose is to build communities, develop relationships, satisfy customers, educate employees, and aid in the success of our partners.

Contact: Pitsco Communications: publicrelations@pitsco.com

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