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Lewis Makes a Difference

Jessica Varela

Jessica Varela

Jessica Varela, Lake Ridge High School

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It’s the job of teachers and educators to make students feel like their future is bright and they can do anything they put their mind to. For one particular student that saw no future whatsoever, Associate Principal Melanie Lewis was there to guide her and show her that anything is possible.

Lake Ridge High School welcomed the new Associate Principal in August of this year. Lewis was an Associate Principal and a Spanish teacher at B.C. Rain High School in Mobile, Alabama and at Desoto High School before joining the Eagle family.

Associate principals face many tedious tasks throughout their day ranging from the disciplining of students to making sure teacher’s classrooms have all they need to be successful. However, Lewis also takes the time to reach out to students she feels might need an extra hand.

“I only know the student on paper but I want to get to know the real person. So I started following their schedule. I looked to see if they were in class on time. I looked to see if they were where they were supposed to be and then I start really encouraging them, ‘Okay good job, today was a good day. Let’s have another good day tomorrow,’” said Lewis.

Lewis has formed a bond with many teachers at Lake Ridge, but her Administrative Assistant JoAnn Sanchez got to know her on a more personal level, resulting in a deep friendship. Sanchez says Lewis is the most genuine person you will ever meet and is great for our students here.

“She has created a relationship with students and that young woman in particular and now she (the student) can actually see a future for herself. That student said ‘When I graduate, I have Ms. Lewis to thank for my graduation,’” said Sanchez.

These type of relationships are part of the reason why Lewis finds her job so rewarding.

“Everyday I get a hug. That’s what we’re here for. To me, that’s the bottom line. As an AP it shouldn’t be an all negative relationship. We’re here to make sure kids are successful, not only in high school but when they leave and get into the real world. I always tell kids this is boot camp for life. We’re training you to be successful beyond Lake Ridge,” said Lewis.

It’s people like Lewis that not only do their job, but put a new perspective on it for students who might need just one person to believe in them to feel like they have a chance to succeed.

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