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Pat Tucker honored for her service to Scecina

Mrs. Pat Tucker received the Father Tom Service Award during the Father Tom Mass on Oct. 23. Her family had kept the award a secret from her. They, along with Scecina's staff and students, members of the community and representatives of Scecina's Veterans Committee, were in attendance for the special Mass and award presentation.

By Beth Murphy

Pat Tucker, who has taught English at Scecina Memorial High School for 14 years, is the 2015 recipient of the Father Tom Service Award. Mrs. Tucker received the award from Scecina President Joe Therber at the annual Father Tom Mass on Oct. 23 at Scecina.

The Father Tom Service Award is given annually to a person who over the years has “given a little extra” to Scecina.

“Although I don’t feel that I deserve this award, I accept it with humility and with love for all of you and for Scecina,” Mrs. Tucker said.

Father Thomas Scecina was a Catholic priest who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army as a military chaplain. He was known as a devoted and humble servant who made a profound impact on people around him and the soldiers he ministered to, especially through darkest days of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines and the grueling conditions of traveling in the Arisan Maru ship as Japanese prisoners of war.

Oct. 24 marked the 71st anniversary of Father Tom’s death after the sinking of Arisan Maru in which 1,780 U.S. and Allied military and civilian POWs perished. Scecina presents the Father Tom Service Award to a person who, as the award reads, places a high degree of importance on Scecina Memorial High School in his or her life and who has “given that little extra” through the years. Father Tom was quoted as having expressed that sentiment to “give that little extra.”

Mrs. Tucker and her husband have four daughters who all graduated from Scecina.

Her youngest daughter, Bridget '03, says this of her mother:

“I think that my mom’s life experiences are what makes her such a great teacher. She has lived on a farm, in a small town and a big city with extremes of wealth and poverty. Her students have been diverse- all races, all incomes, all religions, and all backgrounds- and I know she can relate to them all. She has high expectations for her students and is a big advocate of tough love. She pushes them toward excellence and holds them up when they need a hand. She expects students to live up to the potential she sees in them. She continues to be a resource well after her students graduate- helping them with application essays, college papers, and general advice.”

Congratulations to Pat Tucker.



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