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A teacher by example, Marcy St. John, honored with BG’s Drum Major for Peace Award

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Marcy St. John taught French at Bowling Green High School she instructed her students in more than verb conjugations and vocabulary. She wanted them to learn to be able took at the world from an international perspective, said fellow teacher Jennifer Dever.  St. John even served as advisor to an Amnesty International chapter that had students petition governments on behalf of prisoners of conscience. Dever was introducing St. John as the recipient of the Drum Major for Peace Award given by Bowling Green Human Relations Commission for dedication to promoting a just and inclusive community.  The award was given Friday as part of the 30th annual tribute to Dr, Martin Luther King Jr. (A second story on Christina Lunceford’s keynote address will be posted later.) From left, Mayor Richard Edwards, Jennifer Dever, Marcy St. John, and The Rev. Mary Jane Saunders during presentation of Drum Major for Peace Award. Dever, who teaches English and serves as secretary for the commission, was a new teacher when she first met St. John.  They monitored a large study hall together. Though St. John was unaware of it, she became Dever’s mentor. “I wanted to be like her,” Dever said. “She served as my counselor and coach, helping me through the most difficult years of my teaching.” The Rev. Mary Jane Saunders, St. John’s friend and her pastor at the First Presbyterian Church, said: “For many years Marcy has provided a strong example of what it means not just to talk the talk, but walk the walk, when it comes to loving God and loving and serving her neighbors.” Dever said: “In her personal life, Marcy shows a commitment to promoting the values of justice and inclusion. She has a generosity of spirit and a love for her community. In the decisions she makes in spending her time and resources, Marcy shows an amazing commitment to living a life in service to others.” In accepting her award, St. John cited the words of Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” Earlier St. John referred to the lyrics “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein song from “South Pacific.” “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,”…

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