08/19/05 — Gale Lewis is Wayne's top Teacher of the Year

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Gale Lewis is Wayne's top Teacher of the Year

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 19, 2005 1:51 PM

A reading teacher at Spring Creek Elementary School has been named Teacher of the Year for Wayne County Public Schools.

Gale Lewis was recognized during a banquet Thursday night at Goldsboro Country Club. Administrators chose her from a pool of individual Teachers of the Year from each of the public schools. Last month, she was named representative for the elementary grades.

The other two finalists were Faith Newell, a seventh-grade language arts and social studies teacher at Greenwood Middle School, representative for the middle grades, and Anne Kosuda, a U.S. history and social studies teacher at Charles B. Aycock High School, who earned Teacher of the Year honors at the high school level.

Each of them, as Twiford Award finalists, received $5,000 travel awards to study abroad. As the county winner, Ms. Lewis was also given an additional $1,500 to use for her global travels.

Gale Lewis and Dr. Steven Taylor

News-Argus/Mitch Loeber

Spring Creek Elementary School teacher Gale Lewis, left, receives the Teacher of the Year award from Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools, during a ceremony to honor Wayne County teachers at the Goldsboro Country Club Thursday night.

Ms. Lewis has twice worked at Spring Creek Elementary, from 1984-1993 and returning in 2003. She had previously been the school's teacher of the year, in 1993, and in 1991 was the Wayne County Outstanding Elementary Math Teacher of the Year.

In her application, she said she knew at an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.

"It wasn't any particular knowledge of a subject or one certain role model or even the two-month summer vacation that drew me to the profession," she wrote. "Rather, it was the challenge to motivate and inspire children to become learners."

When her name was called Thursday night, she said she was honored to receive the award and especially the opportunity to travel.

Thanking her colleagues at Spring Creek, she said, "I feel so fortunate every day to work with such a supportive staff, parents and volunteers.

"I really don't feel any different from any of the teachers that I work with. Every day, we challenge the students and push them to the edge."

She said her true inspiration has been the children she serves.

"Their smiles, the twinkle in their eyes .... knowing that I can make a difference" has motivated her to continue teaching year after year, she said.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said Ms. Lewis "exemplifies the definition of a high quality teacher."

"She has a passion for her students and her subject, and she constantly challenges her students to excel," he said. "We congratulate her in her success."

Ms. Lewis will now advance to the selection process for the Regional Teacher of the Year.