DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is deeply saddened by the passing of Civil Rights icon and Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis. His courage, integrity, and advancing human rights around the world was an inspiration to us all. DCSD joins the country in mourning the loss of an extraordinary leader, and we will continue to encourage our students to live by his example.

DCSD students, teachers, administration, staff and community leaders celebrated the official ribbon cutting of the new John R. Lewis Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. It was the first school in the nation to be named after Lewis.

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said, “It’s a great honor that DeKalb County School District had the first John R. Lewis Elementary. Congressman Lewis is a great example of what it means to not only be a champion for children, but a longstanding champion for human and civil rights.”

The new John R. Lewis Elementary is located at 2630 Skyland Dr. NE and is built on five pillars: targeted instruction, bridging gaps, communicating with the community, improving the school climate, and working in partnership. 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.

The congressman warmly greeted each student and took photos with students, teachers, administrators and families last October. 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.”

On behalf of DCSD, we extend our deepest condolences to Lewis’ family and friends.