The Lewis Award Committee is pleased to announce the following as Finalists for the 2017-2018 Monsignor Gerald L. Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching:
Karen Brown, St. Mary Catholic School, Wilmington
Beatrice Jiménez, The Franciscan School, Raleigh
Judy Lutz, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, Rocky Mount
The Recipient of the Award will be selected following February onsite classroom visitations and interviews by the Lewis Award Committee.
Karen Brown’s teaching career spans 20 years. She has taught at St. Mary Catholic School for 15 years with the past 12 as a Middle School Math and Science teacher. Ms. Brown views teaching as her vocation that began at a very early age.
“I get to do what I think is the best job on earth. It’s not just that I enjoy sharing knowledge it’s that helping other people learn is incredibly powerful. Showing them that they can learn, guiding them through new accomplishments, and encouraging them to push themselves makes me feel like I am really doing God’s work.”
Ms. Brown initiated the School Science Fair; created and coaches a regional and state award-winning Science Olympiad team; began the Grades 3-8 Lego Robotics program; chaired the AdvancEd review; offers free after school tutoring; and regularly helps students prepare and present the student liturgies.
Beatriz Jiménez, with 43 years of teaching experience, has taught Grades K-4 Spanish at the Franciscan School for the past 5 years. Ms. Jiménez describes education
“as the foundation (that) provides the how and why that gives life understanding and purpose. It guides our actions and attitudes. It is the key to knowledge, virtues and values. It opens the mind and reaches the heart. For those reasons I have dedicated my life to teach in an understandable, enjoyable and memorable manner that will inspire students to positive service for the greater glory of God”.
Ms. Jiménez initiated and developed a challenging K-4 Spanish immersion program; authored a book used at Belen Jesuit High School to teach Spanish; volunteers at Hope Reins of Raleigh helping rescued horses rescue children that are undergoing severe life crisis to find hope and healing through Christ.
Judy Lutz has been 26 years teaching experience with the past 14 years as First Grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School. Ms. Lutz
“believes that teachers should be passionate leaders that engage their students in learning. Outstanding teachers connect with their students and provide a safe learning environment where mistakes are opportunities to learn. By bringing learning alive in the classroom, I strive to inspire them to develop critical thinking skills and a lifelong love of learning.”
Ms. Lutz, in addition to classroom teaching is also the Assistant Principal of OLPH; member of the School Advisory Board, OLPH Service Club, and School Action Committee for school improvement; mentors new teachers; provides professional development to staff; offers free tutoring; parish Eucharistic Minister; and, hosted African children raising funds for educational services for other children in need.
Watch this website during the month of February for pictures of the Finalists classrooms!