Hyde Park teacher receives Lockmiller award

Mary Lou Compton, center, a preschool teacher at Hyde Park UMC, Tampa, since 1971, receives the 2015 Alice W. Lockmiller Teacher of the Year Award. Hyde Park pastor Magrey deVega, left, and Florida United Methodist Foundation vice president Tom Wilkinson join her in the celebration. Photo by Tita Parham.

TAMPA – Mary Lou Compton has been teaching children at Hyde Park UMC for more than four decades, and with that many years under her belt, she has repeated pretty much every Bible story there is multiple times.

One thing she hasn’t done is become bored.

“It’s new every year because it’s new to the kids,” she says of her class of 4-year-olds. “We come up with different ways to teach them.”

Like the Sunday she and her daughter, Harrison Griffith, built a boat made of huge wooden blocks so the children could re-enact the story of the disciples casting their nets to fish. Or building a house of blocks and leaving a hole through which the children could lower a doll, role-playing the story of Jesus healing the man lowered through the roof of a house by his friends.

For her dedication and commitment, Compton recently received the Florida United Methodist Foundation’s 2015 Alice W. Lockmiller Christian Education Teacher of the Year Award, which comes with a $500 grant.

To read more of this story from the Florida United Methodist Foundation, click here.

– Tita Parham is the foundation's communications and public relations director.

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