GP2W: A.R. Lewis Elementary School

"GP2W" stands for Great Place To Work.  The four characters serve as a reminder in communication among our staff of the culture of our district. Each week through the school year, our website will feature an article on one of our schools, departments, or people explaining how they make SDPC a Great Place To Work! 

MelissaTerry.jpgby Melissa Terry, principal

This year, the A.R. Lewis superstars are focused on "Building Bright Futures," as we work to provide a diverse and challenging educational experience for all students. A. R. Lewis seeks to build strong relationships with students and families, while providing a strong educational foundation that will benefit students for years to come.

One unique aspect of our programming is the work of the many volunteers and mentors that support the vision and mission of our school. This year, over 30 students are working with mentors on a weekly basis to further their educational experience. Most mentors volunteer from local residential communities and provide tutoring, school supplies, birthday presents, and time building relationships with students and their families. This community support also allowed 36% of our student population to receive holiday support. Book clubs from this same community donate time to read to over 15 first graders on a weekly basis. In addition, the American Dream Foundation was awarded a $10,000 grant to host a reading camp for struggling readers in our third grade. This camp will provide extra tutoring, as well as build character development, for students who need this extra attention. The efforts of all of our mentors and volunteers help make A. R. Lewis a success!

A.R. Lewis also boasts a strong, caring faculty. One faculty member who excels as a caring instructor is Mrs. Lindsey DSC00410 (2).jpgStone. Mrs. Stone has taught fourth grade for five years. She enjoys teaching ELA and Social Studies. A 2009 graduate of Southern Wesleyan University, Lindsey says that she believes that every student can learn and grow! She believes it's her job to find out how to make that happen. Lindsey's peers appreciate her outlook on life. One states that she is always so positive and calm – she is wise beyond her years. Another peer notes that "Lindsey will always go the extra mile for her students. She wants all students to be successful." Lindsey Stone exemplifies the role of teacher. Her students care about her deeply because they know that she cares for them. Mrs. Stone works daily to ensure that all of her student's needs are met. Her impact on students extends beyond just the students in her classroom. As a vital part of our school, she provides inspiration and support for other teachers and students in our building. A.R. Lewis is fortunate to have Lindsey Stone as our 2013-14 Teacher of the Year.

Reece1.jpgAnother cherished member of the A.R. Lewis family is Mrs. Diann Reece. Diann is the cafeteria manager at our school, but to many, she is another "mama". Diann ensures that all students receive a hot, balanced meal each day along with an occasional hug and word of encouragement. Diann's peers state that she is a very dedicated employee and always has the best interest of the students in mind. She will do her best no matter the task. Diann is also close to her family and a loyal, caring friend. Diann has worked with the school district for 22 years. She has worked at A. R. Lewis twice in her career – once for three years and now for the last fifteen years. Diann attended school here, and has a heart for our students. She has been Support Employee of the Year twice and was a district finalist both times. Diann also worked to obtain the US Healthier School Gold Award for A.R. Lewis. Her husband is also a district employee and regularly plays "Santa" when needed. We are very blessed to have her here at A.R. Lewis Elementary.

It is evident that what accounts for A. R. Lewis's success is its people. From the teachers to the students, from the mentors to the volunteers, all who are associated with our school work to build a community school of excellence, where excellence is not a goal, but an attitude. As John Gardner states, "Excellence is doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well." This is what makes A.R. Lewis a great place to serve!