From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 07:32:50


                    AT APCE CONFERENCE 
                      By Julian Shipp 
ATLANTA--You only had to hear the testimonies to her fetish for 
crossword puzzles or see the standing ovation from her colleagues 
to understand why Mary Duckert was named Educator of the Year 
during the conference of the Association of Presbyterian Church 
Educators (APCE) in Atlanta Feb. 8-11. 
       Described as a "with the troops" educator and writer, Duckert, 
who has been involved with APCE for more than 40 years, was one of 
five people honored for their achievements during the 
organization's awards ceremony. 
        Author of the book "Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher," which 
was in print 25 years, Duckert said her honor marks a victory for 
all church educators. She said Christian educators are proud of 
their importance to the Presbyterian Church and have a strong 
internal support group.  
       "This assemblage right here knows the meaning of support and 
practices it better than any other group in the church," Duckert 
said. "Why? Because we're pastors, executives, lay educators, 
teachers, curriculum developers, writers and leadership specialists 
who all need one another. 
       "Support is our business and support is our profession," 
Duckert said. "We are people with a sense of humor permeating our 
serious work." 
       Following graduation from McCormick Theological Seminary in 
Chicago, Duckert was called to First Presbyterian Church in 
Hammond, Ind., where she served as director of Christian education 
(DCE).  She next worked at Westminster Press as a publications 
representative in the Southeast and Northeast, which led to her 
editing Christian Faith and Life children's resources. 
       Feeling the need for more experience in a local church in 
order to be a more sensitive editor and relevant writer, she then 
served as DCE in Libertyville, Ill.  Then she served as director 
of children's work at Fairmont Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 
where she directed the nursery school and wrote curriculum 
       After serving as an elder, teacher and presbytery committee 
leader, Duckert retired to Portland, Ore., and wrote two more 
books: "New Kid in the Pew" and "A World of Children's Games." 
       "She's never lost sight of her role as an educator," said 
Carolyn Olds Mikels, a close friend of Duckert and member of San 
Gabriel Presbytery in Asuza, Calif.  "Even as we honor Mary Duckert 
as Educator of the Year, her accomplishments challenge us to carry 
       Other award recipients were Dean Glass Vandegrift, Stratton 
Lee Peacock and Betty Sue Wright, who received the APCE Life 
Achievement Award; and Marilyn Ilana Avent, who received the E. 
Valaria Murphy Scholarship Award. 
                            # # # 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
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