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Teacher retires after celebrating Golden anniversary in MDPS

TEACHER-RETIRESTeacher retires after celebrating Golden anniversary in MDPS

Claudia Mae Lewis is retiring after 50 years of teaching at Silver Bluff Elementary.

(Photo by Jimmy Abraham  – Miami-Dade Public Schools)

By Staff Writer

Claudia Mae Lewis started with Miami-Dade schools in 1965; little did she know she would remain there for the next 50 years! Lewis has spent more than 49 of those years at Silver Bluff Elementary.

In celebration of her commitment and dedication, a surprise party was thrown for her retirement recently.

Her son, a teacher himself, past students, reporters and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho all were in attendance to honor the woman who has dedicated so much of herself to the Miami-Dade County Public School System.

A native of Buena Vista, Ga., Lewis’s family moved to Miami, where her father worked for the railroad and her mother was a bus driver for Miami-Dade schools. Lewis is named after her grandmother, who was a slave.

Lewis’ son, Tyree, was the first Black student to attend Silver Bluff, just outside Coral Gables. Growing up, Tyree Lewis said his mother never missed a chance to teach. She would quiz him on vowels and consonants or have him read to her during car trips. “She’s always teaching me,” Lewis said.

When discussing the changes she has seen in the classroom, the first things Lewis talked about was standardized testing. She also expressed concern regarding the new educational standards. Tyree feels his mom is worried about cutting out cursive writing instruction and felt teachers weren’t as encouraged to build personal relationships with their students like in the past.

“Some of those things, she felt they (students) would miss out on,” he said. “She wasn’t ready to go, but she felt her generation of teachers is over, like they’re teaching to the test now.”

Lewis, a devoted church member, promised to come back often as a substitute and volunteer.

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