Eleven member educators of the Lutheran Education Association (LEA) have been named recipients of that group’s 2005 awards.
Each of those honored has received or will be receiving a plaque designating his or her selection. They also will be recognized, along with fellow educators chosen in 2003 and 2004, during LEA’s triennial national convocation April 7-9 in Indianapolis.
Heading the list is the Christus Magister (Christ the Master Teacher) Award, given this year to Dr. William Karpenko II of Vaparaiso, Ind. The 10 other awards — four of them being given for the first time to new educators — are for those in specific categories of educators.
The overall Christus Magister award “is given annually to an LEA member who has a history of exemplary service in Lutheran education,” says the LEA news release announcing it. The other awards are for outstanding service.
The LEA board of directors decides the recipient of the Christus Magister Award, and leadership teams representing the specialties of LEA educators select the educators for the honors in their categories.
Karpenko recently retired from Valparaiso University as director of church relations, chair of the Allen Church-Worker Committee, and supervisor of the Lutheran Leader Intern Program. He currently is an adjunct professor at Concordia University Nebraska, in Seward, with primary responsibility for supervising interns in the director of Christian education (DCE) program.
LEA’s news release announcing the 2005 Christus Magister selection quotes Dr. Mark Blanke, director of Concordia-Seward’s DCE program, in supporting Karpenko’s selection.
“His single-mindedness of purpose combined with his dedication, wisdom, strong work ethic, and his charismatic personality were all instrumental in the process of making DCE ministry the strong contributor to the ministry of Christ’s church that it is today,” Blanke wrote. “Because of his natural leadership abilities, he has become a symbol for DCE ministry to hundreds of DCEs.”
The 10 other LEA awards, those chosen to receive them for 2005, and the school or congregation they serve are:
- Distinguished Lutheran Early Childhood Administrator — Diana Tinker, Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran School, Scottsdale, Ariz.;
- Distinguished Lutheran Early Childhood Teacher — Donna Koehneke, Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong, China;
- Outstanding New Lutheran Early Childhood Teacher — Gayle Gerth, Trinity Lutheran School, Bloomington, Ill.;
- Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Administrator — Cletus Pfeiffer, Rochester Central Lutheran School, Rochester, Minn.;
- Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Teacher — Barbara McComas, Topeka Lutheran School, Topeka, Kan.;
- Outstanding New Lutheran Elementary Teacher — Rachel Hosmon, Redeemer Lutheran School, Stuart, Fla.;
- Master DCE — Lyle Heggemeier, Cross View Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn.;
- Outstanding New DCE — Kerri Ann Kothe, Zion Lutheran Church and School, Belleville, Ill.;
- Distinguished Lutheran Secondary Teacher — Rebecca Oerman, Martin Luther High School, Northrop, Minn.; and
- Outstanding New Lutheran Secondary Teacher — Christopher Jung, Lutheran High School, Metarie, La.
Posted March 31, 2005