Excellence in Education Fund
This fund was established on Glenn and Mary Ellen Lesher's 55th wedding anniversary on May 21, 2003 to provide financial support for Grace Brethren Christian School teachers pursuing Masters level Christian Education at Regent University.
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Between the two of them, Glenn and Mary Ellen Lesher have 54 years of experience in public and private education. Glenn, from New Franklin, Pennsylvania and Mary Ellen, from Albany, Georgia met while Glenn was assigned to the 305th Fighter Squadron at Dale Mabry Army Airfield in Tallahassee, Florida and served as a P-51 Mustang Propeller Mechanic with the Army-Air Corps during World War II. Mary Ellen was also there as a student at the Florida State College for Women. They both became interested in the teaching profession through the encouragement of other educators.
As a home based Mom, I wanted to work in the community, accessible to my family’s needs. School hours synchronized best with family schedules, especially in the summertime and holidays.
A teacher friend suggested I substitute teach and she and her associates gave me on-the-job training and encouragement.
I began teaching on my B.S. degree in Nursing Science earned at the University of Pennsylvania and was paid on the degree scale. When I began teaching full-time, I was required to earn six-hours credit every two-years towards a teaching certificate. Although my courses were all at the graduate-level, I was unable to meet the college's five-year deadline for a Master's. Instead, I earned a Master's equivalent in eight-years and a Master Teacher Certificate, which put me on the same pay scale as a M.S.Ed.
Most helpful courses included:
1. child development (teens)
2. communication skills (inter-personal relationships)
Value of post-graduate work:
1. more exposure to ideas, innovations
2. help with interpersonal relations
I had no thought of getting into a career in education until after my WW II military service. My tour in the Army-Air Corps ran from February 1942 to December 1945. I did not feel challenged as a mechanic.
In mid-1943, I began to think about college. The GI Bill was rumored and if that were to come, I could then go to college. Becoming more serious, I decided to attend college to become a Veterinarian like my great-grandfather.
Mary Ellen had transferred to nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania, and I thought that would be a good school that would allow me to reach my goal. Pennsylvania could not accept me until Sept 1948, 21/2 years hence. My high school principal suggested I attend Shippensburg State College for two years and then transfer to Pennsylvania.
At Shippensburg State, much was said and taught about our becoming educators. (They were doing their job). I became interested and decided to pursue a career as a teacher in a secondary school. I liked Biology. Following this plan would allow me to enter the work force years earlier. I was engaged to marry and my soon-to-be bride would graduate in 1948.
In the summer of 1950 after a half of a year teaching junior high school Science, I began graduate school at the University of Maryland which was within easy driving distance of our home. I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Guidance Counseling. I also took some secondary administration courses.
Some of the graduate courses were helpful in classroom teaching -- Human Development Education and a reading course. Most work was aimed at becoming a counselor. I became a Jr. High Counselor after four and one half years of teaching experience. A graduate degree was essential preparation towards attaining my new goal to become a junior high school administrator.
1. Know your subject well.
2. Remember courses and information on classroom management.
3. Be yourself and be genuine. You can’t fool children.
4. Be firm, fair and honest.
5. Place yourself in the classroom so you can see everything. You remember the teachers who had eyes in the backs of their heads!!
6. Do not dress a child down in front of the class. If deserved, do it one-on-one later.
7. After establishing yourself, you might get by without: “Eyes in the back of your head.”
8. Plan well so lessons flow well. Even have more planned than you think you need.
9. Clean the classroom as soon as it gets dirty. Get trash up when it falls.
10. Take a few minutes to get ready for dismissal at class end. Dismiss a row at a time.
11. Students who take advantage need to be dealt with. Not necessarily immediately. Ex. A student who must go the restroom every period in your class.
12. Require materials for your class and create a grade for preparedness.
13. It is well for students to have something to do when they arrive. Establish the fact and place something on the board to do on arrival. Such work can be kept in their notebook and be a part of class requirements.
(301) 868-1600 ext. 320
Last revised: May 15, 2003