“This is the first school in THE NATION to be named after renowned Atlanta icon and American Civil Rights leader U.S. Rep. John Robert Lewis,” DCSD Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green.
DeKalb County School District (DCSD) students, teachers, administration, staff and community leaders celebrated the official ribbon cutting of the John R. Lewis Elementary School on Friday, October 4, 2019. The facility has the distinct honor of being named after one of our country’s most renowned leaders. Rep. Lewis has a storied career as a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights movement, as well as an ethical, moral-driven leader on Capitol Hill.
The new John R. Lewis Elementary – located at 2630 Skyland Dr. NE – is built on five pillars: targeted instruction, bridging gaps, communicating with the community, improving the school climate, and working in partnership. The building itself is a staple of how much the district has progressed. The school is state-of-the-art, offering students collaborative learning spaces, a brand new, spacious courtyard and amphitheater, as well as a sparkling new gymnasium and cafeteria. By just entering John Lewis Elementary, teachers and students are sure to be inspired.
These are but features of a grand whole. They are just facets of a facility that represents an investment from both the district and the DeKalb County tax-payer. This school is a great example of voter-approved E-SPLOST dollars in action on behalf of the community.
This special event featured remarks from DCSD Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green, Rep. John R. Lewis (GA-D), principal Dr. Lashawn McMillan, Brookhaven mayor John Ernst, Region 1 Superintendent Dr. Sherry Johnson, as well as DeKalb County Board of Education member Allyson Gevertz.
“Each day, students, teachers, and staff will be reminded of Congressman Lewis’ leadership and sacrifice,” said Dr. R. Stephen Green DCSD CEO/Superintendent. “Each day, they will have the opportunity to meet the high standard he set so long ago – the one he continues to set every day in Washington, D.C.”
“Congressman Lewis is the embodiment of what it means to lead and serve others,” said Principal Lashawn McMillan in her opening remarks. McMillan also thanked board member and vice chair Marshall Orson for spearheading the project to name the school after Lewis.
Board of Education member Allyson Gevertz challenged the students and teachers, “As long as you maintain your focus, outline your goals, and behave with integrity, you may also have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of this school’s namesake”, said Gevertz. “After all, Congressman Lewis is living proof that public education can, and does, provide the highest levels of leadership and achievement.”
The congressman warmly greeted each student and took photos with students, teachers, administrators and families. Lewis expressed his gratitude for the school bearing his name.
“I feel blessed, more than lucky, blessed. These children are beautiful and smart. They will help save America,” said Lewis. He also thanked the architects and builders for providing a space for in his words “yet unborn generations.”
Mayor John Ernst said, “It’s a great honor that Brookhaven, Ga. has the first John R. Lewis Elementary.
Regional Superintendent Dr. Sherry Johnson closed by thanking all stakeholders for their “vision, perseverance and insight on ways to equalize education.”
Board members Marshall Orson and Dr. Joyce Morley were also in attendance to celebrate the joyous occasion.
Attendees also enjoyed inspirational songs from two John Lewis students, the recorder ensemble and the chorus and a poem.