Aside from regular business, this morning's Centralia High School (CHS) staff meeting had a special highlight to it.
On May 15, Principal Dr. Matt Smith, awarded the 2023 Centralia High School Educator of the year to Mr. Joshua Lancaster.
“Mr. Lancaster does a great job teaching world history. This is material that can sometimes not be the most exciting stuff for every student. Luckily for CHS students, Mr. Lancaster is a great story teller, and he works very hard to present material in a way that brings different time periods to life. He gets students to imagine what it would be like to live in the specific historical time periods and understand the emotion of the people that made that particular history,” said Smith.
In addition to teaching world history, Lancaster also took on the job of monitoring hallways during our homeroom PASS period this school year. He has used this time to build relationships with students. Kids appreciate his kindness and the way he approaches holding them to a high standard of accountability.
“Over the last few years, with some turnover in the Social Studies department, Mr. Lancaster has been a rock for us in that department. He provides great leadership to new and young teachers, helping them navigate the transition to a new school, working with new people, and new surroundings. He has been an invaluable resource in helping several teachers successfully transition and get off to a great new start at CHS,” said Smith.
It is not unusual for Lancaster to wear many different hats. Aside from world history teacher and PASS monitor, Lancaster is also CHS assistant boys basketball coach and bus driver to and from games. To add even another hat to the list, Lancaster can oftentimes be seen in the role of Dad while at CHS basketball games.
“At a road basketball game this year, Mr. Lancaster's daughters made the trip with the team. During the first game of the evening he was working with them to get all their school work done, then coached his team's game and his daughters helped keep the scorebook. After all of that, as we were leaving, I realized Mr. Lancaster was carrying keys to the bus....he was also the bus driver for the trip! All this after a full day of teaching in the classroom,” said Smith.
Lancaster’s wife and two daughters were present when he received the award. It is safe to say he was not expecting this recognition.
“Year-by-year, I try to be a better educator than I was the year before, tweaking and changing what I do and how I do it to make it a better experience for the students. When you receive an award like this, in a district and building where there are many great educators who come in and do their best for our students every day, it is nice to be recognized and appreciated for who you are, what you do day-in and day-out for students and your colleagues, and that you try to be better. It is just very humbling,” said Lancaster.