Mention the name “Pat Lucas,” and you will be greeted with smiles and fond stories. The former director of student teaching at GSEP for more than 20 years was a model of servant leadership, mentor, cheerleader, counselor, inspiration, and friend to the thousands of aspiring and hopeful teachers she shepherded through the credentialing and placement programs. She became a part of GSEP’s heritage, and left a meaningful mark on the hearts of those who benefited from her support and faithful leadership over the years. It is for these reasons and many more that we regret her recent passing though she will surely be remembered for her unwavering dedication and commitment to GSEP’s students.
“Pat’s legacy lives in every classroom where her former students have left their footprints,” said Dr. J. L. Fortson, lecturer and director of student teaching at GSEP, and admiring colleague of Lucas. “I have yet to meet a former student of hers who, when her name is mentioned, doesn’t have a gleam in their eye and a tale to tell. She taught by example and was a teacher’s teacher.”
Lucas represented much of what is unique about GSEP. She groomed novice teachers into expert educators, and then successfully placed them in schools throughout the Los Angeles area. The institutions were always delighted to work with students that Lucas had taken under her wing, as everyone knew that her nurturing approach cultivated the most professionally trained teachers. “I honor her by upholding the standards that she set; the Pepperdine credential candidates continue to be highly regarded and sought after when schools want the best-prepared instructors,” said Dr. J. L. Fortson, lecturer and director of student teaching.
“She was a mother to many, many teachers,” remarked Allie Tegner, a close friend of Lucas and wife of Pepperdine’s Dean Emeritus Olaf Tegner, with whom Lucas worked. “Everybody loved and respected her. Her interest in teaching and training teachers was her whole life.”
Evelyn Golden, former credential administrator for the GSEP master of arts in education program for 16 years and another close friend of Lucas, echoed those sentiments using words starting with “P” for “Pat”: “Pat Lucas was one of the most phenomenal sisters I’ve ever known. Pat truly exemplified patience, perseverance, and passion, mentoring students and teaching life lessons with purpose and poise. Pat’s extraordinary work and dedication is an inspiration to all and reflects the best of the teaching profession.”