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Hall of Fame inductees are worthy of honor

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By The Staff

Enshrinement in the Lancaster County School District Hall of Fame has drawn the elite in local education over the years.

The Class of 2010 fits the same mold.

The LCSD’s annual Celebration of Excellence event included the annual hall of fame induction ceremonies, welcoming four worthy candidates.

The quartet included Tucker Jackson and Arthur Benjamin along with the late Leona “TK” Cunningham and Elsie Boyce.

Each was an “old school style” educator whose impact is still felt today through the students they taught and guided.

Greg Summers, The Lancaster News’ features editor, was a student at the old Erwin Farm School where Cunningham was a longtime principal.

He recalled her signature calling card of a ring of keys that in her presence education and discipline were vital in molding young lives.

“Cunningham was a tireless, devoted educator who made a difference,” Summers said.

Jackson, who was director of the Lancaster Vocational School for nearly 30 years, still has an impact on the building now known as the Lancaster Career Center as part of Lancaster High School.

The center sports 15 major career cluster programs and offers more than 70 courses.

Local cosmetology, automotive and construction businesses are guided by former students who learned their trade at the school, which Jackson help develop.

His was a labor of love.

“I had a wonderful time for 30 years at the Lancaster Vocational School,” Jackson said.

Benjamin liked his profession so much that he devoted 40-plus years as a teacher, coach and administrator at South, Barr Street and A.R. Rucker middle schools.

His final seven and a half years were spent in his job as assistant principal at A.R. Rucker Middle School.

Benjamin said he realized a long time ago that it’s best to choose a profession because you love it and not necessarily because of the salary.

“Well, I guess the Lord has kept me here for a little while,” Benjamin said. “Nothing touches this, especially when you teach kids.”

Boyce also had a love for learning, serving in various positions for the Lancaster schools.

She was a school board member and later served as board secretary.

After leaving the board, she became an itinerant teacher, working part of the school day at H.R. Rice Elementary and the old Erwin Farm School.

She later became principal of the old Dobson Elementary School and held the post until her 1975 retirement.

“No one loved teaching more,” said Boyce’s daughter, Jane Carroll, who along with her sister, Sara (Tutie) Thompson, accepted the hall honor. “Education was her passion. She loved her students.”

That can be said of all four educators and was a major reason they were honored as the newest LCSD hall inductees.

We salute their achievement and encourage others in the education field to follow their lead.