Pastor Jeff

Pastor Jeff Tucker

This month’s winner:Pastor Jeff Tucker, Christ Lutheran School

Nominated by students Cale, Brielle, Joie, Zoie, Jeffry and Harrison

Every day, Pastor Tucker finds a way to make us smile. I think that his charismatic personality is what makes him such a great teacher and advisor. Pastor Tucker is one of those people who is kind and loving even when others aren’t watching. He listens to students, understands them, and finds a way to bring more joy into the world every single day. He deserves this honor without a doubt.

 

What was the first thought that went through your mind when I called your name?

I was completely shocked! I thought maybe it was some kind of joke or a prank!

How does it feel to be a Teacher We Love?

It feels incredible. I love these kids. I’ve spent this year trying to pour into them, encourage them, walk with them, and build them up. Some days are good; some days are bad.

It can be hard to tell if your efforts are being fruitful. So to have the assurance that they, at the very least, knew and appreciated the way I was trying to love them, is really a great feeling.

How long have you been working with Christ Lutheran?

I’ve worked at Christ Lutheran (in some capacity) for three years now. Before I became a pastor, I worked for Valero Energy, in their recruiting department and government affairs.

What are your responsibilities at CLS?

As a pastor I have a whole slew of responsibilities. When it comes to students, though, I’d say advisor is the best way to describe what I do. I meet with students, mentor them, counsel them if they’re going through a difficult circumstance, etc.

Next year, I’ll be teaching 8th grade theology (in addition to continuing as an advisor). I’m really looking forward to that!

What is the process for becoming a pastor? 

It takes about eight years total. You have to earn your bachelor degree (mine is in business and theological studies). After you have your undergraduate degree, you got to Seminary where you earn a graduate degree (typically a Masters of Divinity). The MDiv program takes four years and includes a year-long internship in the third year of the program.

How do you relate to the students as an advisor?

I think the junior high students I work with are thoughtful kids that have already gone through crazy life events. I also remember being frustrated when it felt like teachers talked down to me.

These kids are capable of really engaging, nuanced conversation. I feel that they are more informed than my generation was at their age.

I think they bring unique perspective, and all they want is an opportunity to share their thoughts on what’s happening in their world.

So we talk about topics that are hard. Topics that don’t have easy answers. We talk about their futures, what they want for the world, and what they see happening.

What is your favorite part about being a pastor?

Teaching people how to read the Bible. It is one of the few marketable skills that I have. And apart from whether or not you’re a person of faith, it is a fascinating book! I also happen to believe that what it says is true and life-changing, so I think we should all be reading it.

How do you connect lessons to the real world?

I try to be honest and transparent about my own life and be honest about my frustrations with the world. I try to be honest about things that have gone wrong in my life – a lot of times that just means sharing mistakes I’ve made.

I like to share my joys with them, too. I like telling them about my family, my wife and four-month old daughter. I have no idea what I’m doing as a father, and I think it’s okay that they know that!

When we talk, my hope is that they get a clear picture of how complicated life can be. Really, it just means talking about anything and everything that they have questions about. Sometimes, I don’t have the answer, but that lets them take ownership in making connections to their own life. 

Where are you from?

I’m from Texas. I moved here in 2019 as part of my internship. My favorite part of Arcadia is the variety of different restaurants. My wife and I are foodies, so we love trying new spots whenever we can. 


Winning teachers receive an award certificate and special prizes. Thank you

to our sponsors: Postino Arcadia, The Joffe Group and The Phoenician Spa.

All winners are invited to an end-of-school year celebratory luncheon. Nominate a teacher you love at arcadianews.com.