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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Long-time educator earns teacher recognition

Monday, May 14, 2012

Don Tuck, the Missouri Option instructor at the Southwest Area Career Center in Monett, was honored as Teacher of the Month for April. Tuck is pictured above with Becky Stephens, training specialist with EFCO, a Pella Company, which sponsors the monthly teachers recognition program in cooperation with The Monett Times. [Times Photo by Lisa Schlichtman]
The winner of April's Teacher of the Month award has enjoyed a career in education that has spanned over three decades. Don Tuck is currently enjoying his 31st year of educating young people as a member of the faculty at the Southwest Area Career Center (SWACC) in Monett.

Tuck teaches the Missouri Option program, which targets students who have the capabilities to complete Missouri high school graduation requirements but for a variety of reasons lack the credits needed to graduate with their class and are at risk of leaving school without a high school diploma. Through the program, Tuck helps students complete the credits needed to graduate through supplemental guidance and counseling as needed.

Being named Teacher of the Month was an honor for Tuck, and its an award he's proud to share with his students.

"I honestly believe my students are the ones who should be recognized for their efforts," said Tuck. "Their hard work and persistence has made me look good. I appreciate their efforts and congratulate them for their success."

In addition to his duties as the Missouri Option instructor, Tuck also serves as coordinator of Monett Schools' Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Before joining the Monett School District two years ago as assistant high school principal, Tuck spent four years at Willard as high school principal, 19 years in the Lamar School District as a science teacher, coach, A+ coordinator, assistant elementary principal, middle school principal and elementary principal and six years in Jasper as a teacher and coach. He holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Missouri Southern State University and a masters degree in educational administration from Missouri State University.

"I had many great teachers that were great role models for me, and because of their influence I made the decision to become an educator."

And it's a decision that Tuck has never regretted.

"The thing I enjoy most about teaching is the positive relationships and friendships that have developed over the years and also seeing students become successful and contributing members of society," said Tuck.

Outside of his career in education, Tuck unwinds through a variety of hobbies, which include playing the guitar, fishing, playing golf and spending time with family. He is also a baseball fanatic who loves collecting baseball memorabilia and following the St. Louis Cardinals.

Tuck and his wife of 31 years, Renea, have three children, Nolan, 27, Brooke, 23, and Malory, 19.

"I also want to thank EFCO for their continued support of the surrounding schools," said Tuck. "Their efforts are making a difference. We will use the $250 (cash award) for educational supplies and Resources for the Missouri Option program."

The Teacher of the Month program is sponsored by EFCO, a Pella Company, and The Monett Times. Any public or private school teacher who teaches kindergarten through 12th grade in Monett, Purdy, Verona, Pierce City or Freistatt is eligible for the award. Nominations can be made by students, parents or fellow educators.

For more information about the program or the nomination process, email editor@monett-times.com.

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