Distinguished UCC educators to be honored at General Synod
“These five educators embody in word and deed vibrant teaching ministries in local churches of the United Church of Christ,” according to the Rev. David J. Holden of LCM’s Worship and Education Ministry, which sponsors the recognitions. “They have been selected for this honor in recognition of the critical importance they place on the teaching ministry of the United Church of Christ — for the church and for society.”
Those to be honored are:
· Kate Banks of Florida’s North Port UCC, who became the founding director of the congregation’s first-ever organized Christian education program.
· Janice Hawthorne Timm of United Church of Cloverdale (Calif.), a music educator who, although new to the church, stepped up to form and lead a children’s choir.
· Eileen Hoard, retired preschool director at Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix, Ariz. With nearly 250 students and 25 staff, the school is known for its excellence in creative, multicultural, just-peace learning.
· The Rev. Ted Huffman, pastor and teacher of First Congregational UCC in Rapid City, S.D. whose “playfulness and seriousness allows him to work with people of all ages,” says one church member.
· Tom Johnson, founder and headmaster of The Neighborhood Academy (TNA) in Pittsburgh, Pa. – a private, faith-based, non-sectarian school, whose mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty by preparing low-income students for higher education. Current enrollment is nearly 70 students with a faculty/staff of 25. He is a member of Community of Reconciliation UCC in Pittsburgh.
Nominations for the awards were solicited from each of the UCC’s 39 Conferences and represent “the thousands of outstanding educators [who are] members of the United Church of Christ or teach in UCC-related institutions,” Holden said.