The Rev. William “Bill” Beckmann of St. Charles, Ill., is Lutheran Education Association’s (LEA) Christus Magister award recipient for 2017.
Beckmann heads the list of 10 Lutheran teachers and administrators named by LEA for its distinguished-educator awards this year. The board of directors of LEA — an LCMS Recognized Service Organization — selected him for its most distinguished award that has been presented since 1965 to Lutheran educators “who have made significant contributions to Lutheran education,” according to an LEA news release.
Beckmann is a pastor and co-director for children’s ministries at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Batavia, Ill., where he has served since 1995. Previously, he held administrative and teaching positions at Lutheran high schools in Illinois and Indiana and served as a director of Christian education.
A 1958 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Beckmann earned a master’s degree in educational administration in 1960 from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
“Even though he has been in the ministry for 50-plus years, he still studies current trends in all different aspects of ministries,” said a colleague of Beckmann’s in supporting his nomination for the LEA award. “He always has ideas to share with the team about what is changing in our world for kids and the direction our church needs to be going in to keep up with those changes. In our church, he is the balance that keeps the old traditions with new and upcoming traditions.”
The nine other 2017 LEA distinguished-educator award recipients — selected by LEA Network Leadership Teams — are:
- Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Administrator: Christy Wood, assistant principal/site administrator at West Portal Lutheran School, San Francisco.
- Distinguished Lutheran Early Childhood Teacher: Shelley Dartmann, Concordia Academy, Omaha, Neb.
- Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Teacher: Christin Senechal, Concordia Academy, Omaha.
- Distinguished Lutheran Middle School Teacher: Judy Stock, Pilgrim Lutheran School, Green Bay, Wis.
- Distinguished Lutheran Secondary Educator: Barbara Doyle, Valley Lutheran High School, Saginaw, Mich.
- Distinguished Retired Lutheran Educator: George Locke, Canton, Mich.
- Outstanding New Lutheran Early Childhood Teacher: Taylor Haese, Ascension Lutheran School, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Outstanding New Lutheran Elementary Teacher: Hillary Czernicki, Hales Corners Lutheran Elementary School, Hales Corners, Wis.
- Outstanding New Lutheran Middle School Teacher: Verne Schultz, St. John’s Lutheran School, Elgin, Ill.
Posted February 6, 2017