Longtime Wilshire Crest Volunteer Doris Tucker Receives GWNC Citizen Recognition Award

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Doris Tucker at her daily post in a Wilshire Crest preschool classroom

In 1996, Doris Tucker’s granddaughter, Asha, was a student at Wilshire Crest Elementary School.  Tucker, who was raising Asha by herself at the time, wanted to be involved in her granddaughter’s education, and decided to volunteer at Wilshire Crest.  But while Asha grew up and moved on, Tucker stayed on at her local elementary school.  Now 89 years old (she’ll be 90 in September), Tucker has been volunteering all day, every school day, for the last 20 years, in the school’s preschool and kindergarten classes, acting as a de facto “grandma” to what is now an entire generation of Wilshire Crest students.

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Tucker receives the GWNC’s Citizen Recognition Award from GWNC Outreach Committee member Joe Hoffman

Last night, Tucker received some rare recognition for her efforts, when the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council presented her with its Citizen Recognition Award at its monthly board meeting.  In addition to a commemorative certificate, she received warm applause from both board members and a large contingent of family members and school friends in appreciation of her years of service.

For 19 of her 20 years at Wilshire Crest, Tucker has worked with Pre-K and kindergarten teacher Eileen Washington, a Sycamore Square resident, who was by Tucker’s side last night for her moment in the spotlight.  Washington says she feels extremely lucky to have Tucker as the “Grandma” in her class.

“I can’t believe how dedicated she is, walking to Wilshire Crest every day…even when it rains,” said Washington earlier this week. “Not only is Ms. Tucker very nurturing to the children,” Washington continued, “but she challenges them to think at the highest levels, and always tells them to “kiss your brain” when they answer her thought-provoking questions. And every day she reminds them, before going to lunch, to “eat your food, to feed your…” And the children chime in, “…BRAIN!” Then she continues, “Never say ‘I can’t’…because YES, YOU CAN!””

If you ask  Tucker why she continues to volunteer every day at the age of 89, she says, “I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than being (at school every day) with the kids. They are my passion.”

And it was clear last night that the feeling is mutual for all who know her.

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Tucker with a few of her many fans – family, friends and co-workers from Wilshire Crest school.

If you know of an “unsung hero” who deserves to be recognized for his or her service to the Greater Wilshire community, the GWNC Outreach committee welcomes nominations for future Citizen Recognition awards.  Nomination forms are available at http://www.greaterwilshire.org/site/files/GWNCNominatingform.pdf

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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