Formal Scottish Rite recognition Friday for Southwest teacher

Every fall Lincoln Public Schools gathers together and officially honors the latest winner of the Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year, and Friday the school district formally recognized Terry Abrahams, longtime English teacher at Lincoln Southwest High School.

“This is a highlight of the year for us, an opportunity to recognize fantastic work,” said LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.  “This is about honoring a teacher who demonstrates the highest proficiency of excellence in the classroom, and the school … But this is about more than content, it’s about kids and relationships. It’s about mentoring younger teachers.  It’s about giving back to your profession.  That’s what great teachers do, and nobody does it better than Terry Abrahams.” 

Connie Duncan, president of the Lincoln Board of Education, noted: “Terry builds relationships with students, gets to know their stories so she can meet their needs … She values every student for who they are …. She creates a family with her staff and makes sure they are taken are of – professionally and personally.” 

Abrahams was first honored as the 2018 Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher of the Year during a surprise ceremony at the school last spring, but Friday her portrait was officially added to the Scottish Rite photo gallery at LPS District Office – and Abrahams was presented with an official portrait.   Abrahams taught 14 years at Lincoln Northeast High School before joining Southwest 15 years ago. At Southwest, Abrahams serves as department chair and has taught everything from English 11, for students who struggle with literacy, to AP Literature. In all, she’s dedicated 40 years of her life to teaching.

Abrahams thanked family, friends and colleagues: “I am so honored to receive this award…but this is not just about me, we don’t do this alone …

I’ve just been so lucky to be surrounded by terrific people who have helped me grow … and to work in a district that is committed to teacher growth.” 

Bruce Wood, with Scottish Rite, noted that much has changed over the years, “but the classroom teacher is still the heart of the education process – and Lincoln Scottish Rite will continue to recognize excellence among classroom teachers.” 

Scottish Rite is one of the most prestigious awards given to an LPS teacher and comes with a cash prize of $5,000.   In 1964, Scottish Rite in Lincoln recognized the need to acknowledge a teacher in LPS who merited special acknowledgement for his or her dedication to students.

Published: November 16, 2018, Updated: November 17, 2018