One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Rich Stratton, Assistant Director of Public Relations

The primary reward for educators is seeing students succeed, but occasionally they receive the accolades they greatly deserve. Cedarville University’s School of Education honored one long-time local teacher with its 2024 Excellent Educator of the Year Award. 

Leigh Ann Meeks, a fourth-grade teacher at Tecumseh Elementary School in Xenia, Ohio, was selected by the faculty of Cedarville’s School of Education to receive the award for her excellence in the areas of collaboration, commitment to Cedarville’s mission, leadership and impact on preparing future educators.  

Leigh Ann MeeksMeeks has been a teacher for 34 years, during which time she has also served as a basketball and volleyball coach and was a member of leadership teams tasked with increasing the quality of education in the Xenia district. 

Additionally, Meeks has been preparing student teachers from Cedarville University for the past 25 years to enter the classroom. 

“Leigh Ann loves our teacher candidates,” said Terry Comers, assistant professor of education. “She has spent thousands of hours mentoring them and sharing her wisdom.” 

Meeks received her award at the school’s graduate celebration on May 3, where she presented words of encouragement to aspiring new teachers.  

“God has selected you to impact his children and their parents for his kingdom,” said Meeks to the graduates. “You are called to be part of your students’ lives.” 

Having worked with teacher candidates from Cedarville for so long, Meeks was aware its students have been trained with the expert skills necessary to teach, so her charge focused on practical elements, including covering each day and student in prayer, seeking supporters who will pray and investing in the lives of students. 

Meeks recalled her greatest moments as a teacher have come from building relationships. “Be Jesus to your students and their families,” said Meeks, which has allowed her to encourage students beyond the classroom. 

“I have never considered teaching as work, but as ministry,” said Meeks. “I thank God for allowing me to have the skills to touch all the lives that I have and for the blessing or working with the students at Cedarville University.”  

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