Every fall Lincoln Public Schools gathers together and officially honors the latest winner of the Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year, and Monday the school district recognized Jan McKeown, instructional technology coach at Lefler Middle School.
“This is a highlight of the year for Lincoln Public Schools,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “This award is about all the things we do in the classroom…An honor with the highest of distinction.”
Lanny Boswell, president of the Lincoln Board of Education, continued:
“I love this tradition … a moment we pause and celebrate our fine educators and the magnitude of their work.”
He noted that McKeown is the perfect recipient of this honor:
· She has an educator’s heart and soul.
· She is an exemplary coach, leader and role model.
· She is a person who believes the secret of good teaching – is caring enough to bring her “A” game every day.
· She is a teacher of all teachers…She inspires, advocates, motivates…
McKeown said Monday that she wanted to share what she called an essay about gratitude: “I am so fortunate, I have worked in great schools with talented teachers and have learned from every single one…My career has been a journey…and receiving this award has been the greatest professional honor of my life….I see this as our Academy Award.”
McKeown began her teaching career with LPS at Clinton Elementary School 32 years ago, and has since taught at Humann and Meadow Lane elementary schools, and now Lefler.
“I believe it is a great honor to be a teacher,” she said. “We may not know our influence in the moment, but it is vast…It is sobering that years after a student has left my care, I still occupy a little space in their heart…and that’s fitting, because they still occupy a space in mine.”
Bruce Wood, from Lincoln Scottish Rite, said the Scottish Rite is committed to this award now and into the future. The prestigious honor is presented annually, and comes with a cash prize of $5,000.
Boswell said the award serves as a symbol, “representing the many, many outstanding educators in our school district – and continuing the tradition handed down by many teachers before them. Jan serves as a terrific representative of and ambassador for Lincoln Public Schools … reminding us – once again – to value all that is good in our public schools today.
“This award stands as testimony to the impact educators have on our future, our community, our country. What a powerful reminder of the rich tradition of excellence at Lincoln Public Schools.”
Published: November 20, 2017, Updated: November 20, 2017