Olivia Lewis, an eighth grade history teacher at the Sheridan Junior High School, today was awarded the Arkansas Council for the Social Studies Marshia Coleman Award for Novice Teachers at the Arkansas Curriculum Conference, held at the Marriott Hotel in Little Rock.
The award is given annually to new teachers in recognition of their dedication to students and contributions to the field of social studies education in the state of Arkansas. The award is named in honor of Marshia Coleman, who was a teacher at Forest Heights Middle School in Little Rock before she died suddenly in 2007. She was known as an excellent teacher and mentor for many years.
“Ms. Lewis is very deserving of this award,” said Sheridan School District Superintendent Jerrod Williams. “Highly effective teachers, like Ms. Lewis, play a crucial role in preparing our youth with the knowledge, skills and inspiration they need to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive economy.”
Lewis, who is now in her third year of teaching, was also recognized by History Day Arkansas with the Mary J. Landreth Outstanding Novice Teacher Award last year at the state National History Day Awards. According to her colleagues, Lewis is a great motivator who sets high expectations for her students. Her lessons are highly engaging and encourage her students to look at history from different viewpoints and in a variety of ways. She uses her extensive knowledge of history to awaken an interest in history and learning within her students. Many of her students refer to her as their favorite teacher.