Holy Rosary teacher Rick Lucas has been acknowledged for his service to the community with the St. Thomas More College Distinguished Alumni Award.
The award, which is given out annually to both a man and woman recipient, recognizes alumni of St. Thomas More College who have gone above and beyond in the service of their respective community. Lucas was nominated by several members of the Lloydminster Catholic School Divison community in an eleven-page document chronicling all the work and achievements he’s done, one of the largest nomination packages STM has ever received.
Lucas says he wasn’t expecting to receive the award, but it did hit him emotionally to learn how the staff and students felt about him.
“Well, it made me cry, actually in June, and I’m not much of a crier, but when people starting talking and people started writing letters about my retirement, it brings tears to your eyes because, you know, you hear it a little bit, in bits and pieces throughout the years, but its never really been about the feedback, it’s always just about doing what’s right.”
Lucas taught at Holy Rosary for over 30 years, and to this day maintains a substitute teacher role. He’s also taught the school’s culinary programs, was a Faith Integration Specialist, and after going into a semi-retirement with the school, has moved on to become a Deacon with the Diocese of Prince Albert.
Lucas has also been involved with introducing his students to other cultures and learning through chaperoning the Travel Club’s visits to locations around the world and founded the Holy Rosary High School Key Club. The Key Club was designed to build a greater sense of community in schools, across the City and worldwide. Some of the things it’s done are host nine senior citizen’s appreciation dinners and dances, planted a garden and did “countless hours” of service work at the Onion Lake Cree Nation, and was also involved in international missions working to eliminate Neo-natal Tetanus in babies in Africa.
Lucas notes at the end of the day, it’s not about the awards for him, it’s about making an impact on the students he’s taught, which has spanned generations as he now sometimes teaches children of his former students.
“You go deep and you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I never thought that something I said in Grade Eight English, or whatever, made that long-running impact.’ But you never know what you say and what kids hear, right? Or what they’re going to grab onto, and what’s going to change their world.”
LCSD Deputy Director Glenda Kary also says that Lucas has been a heavy part of their school community, and the community at large.
“Rick is such a well-rounded individual, but he’s been so much part of the fabric, that we definitely have even noticed even though he’s retired. We still call on him for things, and we’re still happy to see him around most days.”
Next steps for Rick Lucas with the Diocese of Prince Albert include working in several communities from ranging from as far as Wakaw to Lloydminster, to up north to Onion Lake, among others.