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John H. Crowder Service Award to honor UCPS students

The late John Crowder congratulates a student who was being recognized by the Union County Board of Education.

The late John H. Crowder, the longest-serving Board of Education member, spent his life dedicated to the children of Union County Public Schools.

To make sure that future generations would know this champion for children, the Union County Board of Education created the John H. Crowder Service Award that will recognize students who make a difference in their schools and communities.

Crowder, who died on March 9, 2014, was the longest serving Board of Education member, having served on the school board since the inception of the school system in 1993. Prior to that, he served on the Monroe City Schools Board of Education from 1982.

Criteria for winning the award are that students must be academically successful (passing all classes), should have no discipline referrals for the year, and must have an established history of community service in more than one area or with more than one organization.

Individual schools will develop a process whereby teachers, counselors, parents and/or students may nominate a deserving student to be recognized with the award.

In announcing the award at a recent Board of Education meeting, board member Christina Helms explained the reason for the award.

“In honor of Mr. John H. Crowder, a gentleman who made a great difference in our community, members of the Board of Education wish to also recognize students who are making a difference in their schools and their community,” she said.

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis explained that an award would be given to a student from each of the UCPS clusters during the monthly Board of Education meetings.

“It’s important to keep his memory alive and what he did for children with Monroe City Schools and with the merger to UCPS,” Ellis said. “It’s a fitting tribute for a man who gave 31 years of service for children in his district. What a living tribute to a man that gave so much for all of our children, including mine.”

Crowder was the first African-American to serve on the Monroe City Schools board. He represented District 1, which includes Monroe. Crowder was also a member of A Few Good Men of Union County, Masonic Lodge #270, and the Langford Chapel CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) Church in Monroe.

“Mr. Crowder's depth of knowledge of education issues and their history was unmatched in the county,” said former School Board member and long-time friend Carolyn Lowder. “He was a proven supporter for equity and quality for our schools and contributed greatly to the current success of our students and teachers.”

The first John H. Crowder Service Award will be awarded to a student in the Forest Hills Cluster during the September 2014 BOE meeting which will be held at Union Elementary School.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 16, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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