Early Childhood Graduate Lewis Selected to Speak at WCU Commencement

Mary Lewis, who graduated from the Early Childhood and Business Administration programs from A-B Tech, was featured in the McDowell News and was a commencement speaker at the December graduation at Western Carolina University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood.

Lewis has also been named a finalist to serve on the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. A 2015 and 2016 graduate of A-B Tech, she was the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award in Early Childhood. She is currently the Director of the First Baptist Church Children’s Center in Marion, which is a five-star facility.

She started her education at McDowell Tech and then decided to complete her associate degree but the college did not offer enough distance learning. “It’s hard to work full-time and got to school,” Lewis said.

Shortly after her graduation from A-B Tech, the director of the First Baptist Children’s Center resigned and Lewis was asked to step in with the condition that she complete her bachelor’s degree. She earned her Business Administration degree to assist her in being a director and handing the financial aspects of the center.

Lewis’s passion for teaching young children grew from her personal experience. “I grew up as a foster child, in and out of homes,” she said. “I got my forever home at 13. I want to make sure the children have a fair chance, and they have someone to listen to them and speak up for them. I wanted to make sure I could make some difference somewhere.”

Lewis is applying for a master’s degree program at UNC Greensboro would like to eventually work in Raleigh and write childcare policies or perhaps teach at A-B Tech.

“She is an impressive woman who I am proud to have as my colleague,” said Jennifer Bosworth, Chair of Early Childhood Education.  “Her classwork was high quality and she is invested in learning as much as she can about the field, her role in it, and is committed to providing high-quality lessons, experiences, and environments for the young children in her care.”

Read the McDowell News Story about Lewis.

See her Commencement speech at Western Carolina University.

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