LEA Distinguished Educator Awards3 min read

Distinguished Retired Lutheran Educator

Dr. George Locke was selected to receive LEA’s Distinguished Retired Lutheran Educator EncourAGING Award. He was selected by the leadership team of LEA’s Retired Lutheran Educators Network, known as EngourAGEnet. Locke lives in Canton, Mich.

Locke earned degrees from Concordia College, Milwaukee, Concordia University Nebraska, Seward, Neb. and a Superintendent’s Endorsement from the University of Nebraska. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Concordia University Ann Arbor, Mich.

Other honors include the Urban Leadership Award from Detroit Urban Lutheran School, the Ivan Zylstra Award from Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools, and Grand Club Recognition from Detroit High School Association.

Locke retired as Superintendent of Lutheran Schools and Executive Director of Youth Ministry, Michigan District, LCMS in 2005. He previously served in various teaching and administrative positions at Lutheran schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, and was Executive Director of Christian Education and Youth in the LCMS Nebraska District from 1979–81. Locke was Chair of the 1996 LEA Convocation in Detroit, served as student teaching supervisor to two of the Concordia Universities, and was Board Chair and member for Lutheran Braille Workers.

One individual who nominated Locke explained, “Locke has consistently brought two things to his ministry. First, a focus on the ministry that God provided and the spiritual nature of that work. Second, a practical ‘the way it is’ understanding that makes his advice properly in the real world but not of the world.”

Distinguished Lutheran Secondary Educator

Barbara Doyle was selected to receive Lutheran Education Association’s 2017 Distinguished Lutheran Secondary Educator award. She teaches at Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, Mich. Mrs. Doyle was selected for this honor by LEA’s Secondary Educators Network leadership team.

Mrs. Doyle is mathematics department chair, mathematics instructor, administrative assistant, class advisor, and director of the handbell choir. She earned a B.S. in secondary education from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis. and an M.A. in teaching secondary education from Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Mich. She is the author of Greater Expectations, which was second on the Amazon Hot New Releases list in the category of Math Teaching Materials.

Supporting Mrs. Doyle’s nomination, one parent wrote, “Mrs. Doyle’s coursework development is second to none. My daughter was a part of her Advanced Algebra 2 class during her sophomore year of study. She was fully engaged and encouraged to do her best. She was given assignments that were challenging and helped her to more deeply understand mathematical concepts. Mrs. Doyle has worked very hard to provide a 21st century classroom, which promotes creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.”

A colleague commented, “Barb has a high level of professionalism. This is demonstrated in her constant search for new information and ideas. She loves learning and models this for her students. She is caring and supportive of her coworkers and takes time to celebrate with them, encourage them, or even mourn with them. She is loved and respected by her students, who know that she can be trusted even though she is pushing them to be their very best.”

Mrs. Doyle comments: “My personal relationship with God permeates my life. I don’t look for ways to artificially insert God into my math classroom. Word problems about the multiplication of fish and loaves of bread are ultimately not very effective in teaching high schoolers about God’s love for them. By being my authentic self with my students, I am fully willing and able to live and teach the Christian faith.”

Congratulations to Mr. Locke and Mrs. Doyle on this recognition of their work.

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About the Author

Edward Grube is the Director of Publications and Communications for the Lutheran Education Association based in River Forest, Ill. For more information, visit

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