Alumni Accomplishments

Guardian of Guidance

School leader Trisha Lewis is shaping future generations

A woman posing in a school hallway.

Photo Credit: Robert Hall

A woman sitting behind a computer.

Photo Credit: Robert Hall

icon of a calendarAugust 25, 2020

icon of a pencilBy Patti Georgevich

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When Oakland University alumnus Trisha Lewis was in the third grade, her family moved, and she had to go to a new school.

“I remember being very scared and unsure of attending a new school. But my new teacher made me feel safe and welcome. That’s always stayed with me. I knew I wanted to do the same for kids when I grew up, so I could be a positive influence and help shape their futures,” says Lewis.

Lewis enrolled in OU’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education to become a teacher. Just before earning her degree in 2006, she attended a job fair and was offered a position teaching middle school science and language arts at (then) Detroit Public Schools (DPS).

After teaching at DPS for five years, the Macomb County resident accepted a school administrator position at L’Anse Creuse High School (LCHS) in Harrison Township. She says educational leadership wasn’t something she planned to pursue as a career, but she’d been thinking about it even while she was in her elementary education program — and, clearly had a “passion for it.”

“The experience I gained as a teacher with DPS helped me greatly as I began my school administrator career at LCHS,” says Lewis.

Lewis has been at LCHS for nine years, currently as associate principal. In her role, she creates the master schedule for the student body, develops and reviews the annual school improvement plan with staff, directs and implements disciplinary policies, manages and monitors quality teaching and supervises evening and sporting events as well as school activities.

“And, I’m able to witness their growth — from the time they came to LCHS to the moment they walk across the stage at graduation.” She adds, “It’s a feeling no one can truly define. I see the difference my position allows me to make.”

While at DPS, she’d enrolled in OU’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership (MED), completing her degree in 2009. Lewis says her MED provided an extensive range of topics which enhanced her knowledge of school leadership.

“The MED program gave me specialized knowledge for my role as a school administrator — law, financial budgets and instructional leadership,” says Lewis.

Lewis then completed her degree hat trick when she enrolled in OU’s Education Specialist in Leadership (Ed.S.), graduating with her post-master’s degree in 2013. She says she wanted to “stay ahead of the curve” and enhance her skill set.

“Continuous education is important for a school leader. I want to be aware of educational trends and strategies. In OU’s Ed.S. program, I learned new skills in school management, educational law and curriculum and staff development. And, the program focused on soft skills such as empathy and mindfulness which are essential to what I do every day.”

Her most meaningful moments as a school administrator are when former students — or parents of former students — return to share their gratitude for her time, attention and devotion at a time they needed it most.

“A parent who had many children attend LCHS over the years told me l ‘was her kids’ guardian angel’ because of my guidance, whether it was related to their education, personal concerns, well-being or needs. I’m dedicated to my role and would go out of my way to assist any of my students.”

Thomas Moss, Jr., dean of students at LCHS, describes Lewis as an “administrator extraordinaire.”

“Trisha is a visionary school leader. She leads the charge to provide a comprehensive and challenging environment for our students. And, in return, our students show their appreciation for her unwavering dedication by exhibiting their ‘commitment to excellence’ daily,” Moss says. “Trisha instills in them the importance of making proper choices, not only in school, but in life. Never too busy to exude encouragement and give guidance, our staff, students and school district are better because of her.”

Lewis says her role as an administrator allows her to align with her students’ success while having a positive influence on their future and enables her to be a role model for our future leaders.

“Being a school leader is more than lesson plans and teacher evaluations. I care about my students and will do whatever it takes so they succeed. You have to be patient and persistent — and create a safe educational environment conducive for their learning,” says Lewis. “Being an associate principal at LCHS has been a fulfilling and rewarding part of my educational career.”

Learn more about OU’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at our locations in Clinton Township and Mount Clemens at OU Macomb.

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