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Lucy Ryder Duffey Receives 2014 Educator of the Year Award

Street Law, Inc.

Over 40 years of educating about law, democracy, and human rights

Lucy Ryder Duffey Receives 2014 Educator of the Year Award

Lucy Ryder Duffey

Street Law, Inc. presented its 2014 Educator of the Year Award to Lucy Ryder Duffey, a social studies teacher at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, FL. This award is generously sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education and given annually to someone who educates students in an exceptional manner and uses Street Law materials.

Lucy is a veteran Street Law teacher with 18 years of classroom experience, 17 of which were spent in an inner city classroom in the St. Louis public school system. At Sumner High School and Carnahan High School of the Future, Lucy taught Street Law to seniors who learned that the law touches every aspect of their lives. Through coursework and experiential learning, her students explored real world connections to law through stories of hope, change, sadness, and real people—while developing empathy, compassion, knowledge about the justice system, and an understanding of their roles in their community, government, and country.

Lucy currently teaches in Lake Mary High School’s Legal Studies program. Students in this innovative program begin their journey in Lucy’s speech class, where she gets students talking about law. In their second semester, her students take Street Law and delve deeply into the intent of law and the subject of criminal law. After completing Comprehensive Legal Studies in 10th graders, the students return to Mrs. Duffey's class in 11th grade to use their foundation in Street Law to explore constitutional cases.

Lucy’s teaching style embodies Street Law’s trademark qualities: it is practical, interactive, and engaging. She brings the law to life for her students through the use of case studies, legal simulations, inquiry-based learning questions, advocacy/community problem-solving projects, and service learning. 

Lucy is a celebrated educator whose hard work, dedication, and talent have been recognized by many. In 2008 she received the YMCA’s Youth in Government program’s Dan Schultz Golden Shovel Award. In 2009 she received accolades from MetLife when she was named among the Top 25 Civics Teachers in America.

Perhaps the true testament to Lucy’s teaching gift are the honors earned by her students and the kind words of thanks they have bestowed upon her. Her St. Louis Street Law students won multiple essay contests about law, as well as Project Citizen and mock trial competitions. And each day Lucy reads a note from a student that is taped to the visor of her car that says, “Some days I don’t want to come to school and then I wake up in the morning and think to myself 'I have Mrs. Duffey’s class.' Your law class makes me want to come to school.” 


Street Law's 2014 Educator of the Year Award is generously sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education.

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