Hartley teacher Lacey Eddy receives prestigious Scottish Rite award during formal portrait ceremony

May 12, 2023, is a date that Hartley Elementary School teacher Lacey Eddy will never forget.

“The day that they presented the award is one that I will remember forever. It is one of my happiest moments as a human,” Eddy said.

It was the day Lincoln Public Schools district leaders and local Scottish Rite chapter members surprised her with the 2023 Scottish Rite Educator of the Year Award in a gym in front of her friends, family, colleagues and dozens of Hartley students. 

“Having it fall right before Mother's Day made that weekend so special,” Eddy said.

The kindergarten teacher got to relive the moment during her official portrait framing ceremony for the award at the Steve Joel District Leadership Center Nov. 10. The Scottish Rite Educator of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious awards a LPS teacher can earn.  

“Lacey is a dedicated educator who devoted her life to instilling the love of learning into all students who enter her classroom. She truly takes the mission of Lincoln Public Schools in all she does in and out of the classroom,” LPS Human Resources Associate Superintendent Vann Price said. 

The education committee of the local Scottish Rite chapter created the award in 1964 to recognize excellent classroom teachers and help make the public aware of the vital role a classroom teacher plays in educating youth. The recipient also receives a check for $10,000 from the organization.  

Eddy was nominated by her principal Rob Rickert who said this in her nomination letter.

“Lacey believes in all students and their ability to achieve. Students who walk into her classroom will succeed due to the expectations she has for each and every child. I have observed Lacey help students who struggle academically or behaviorally and change their life. Lacey develops positive relationships with students and still holds them accountable for their behavior and their learning. Lacey refuses to let students fail.”

Eddy said the honor is not only a great source of pride for herself but also the young minds she helps shape daily.

“The pride it brought not just to me and my family, but to the students throughout our school was so touching and so meaningful. That was truly one of the best moments of my life,” she said.

Eddy has taught in LPS for more than 20 years. She taught at Campbell Elementary School for a year before moving to Hartley where she has been for 22 years. Most of her career has been teaching first grade until she transitioned to kindergarten the previous year. She is also a LPS graduate and completed her student teaching at the school district.  

“I kind of always knew I'd be a teacher, I never really even considered anything else,” 
Eddy said. “It was working with the kids at Hartley that helped me discover my passion for teaching.  It has never been just a job, it is part of who I am.”

During her remarks at the ceremony, she shared that hope is what brings her back year after year to the classroom and knowing she can transform a child’s life and learning. Transformations that she lists among some of the most beautiful moments in her 23 years of teaching. 

“But of all the moments in teaching, there is nothing like the moment when a student recognizes their own learning,” Eddy said. “The moment when they accomplished something that seemed impossible before. The moment that they realize they sparkle. Finding that sparkle in every student and using my experience to bring out the shine is truly the best part of being a teacher.”

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Published: November 13, 2023, Updated: November 17, 2023

Hartley kindergarten teacher Lacey Eddy gives remarks during her formal portrait ceremony after being named the 2023 Scottish Rite Educator of the Year this past May.