Linda Lewis, physical education and drama teacher at Mapleton Junior High, received the esteemed Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education May 2011.
Linda received a crystal trophy and a $10,000 check to use personally. The award was presented personally by Mrs. Karen Huntsman, wife of Jon Huntsman Senior. Only six teachers, three administrators, and two volunteers were recognized throughout the state.
Mrs. Lewis has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical education and a minor in speech and drama as well as recreation. She has also earned a certification in school counseling. She as spent 39 years as an educator in Nebo School District.
Mrs. Lewis started an after-school Shakespeare theater 21 years ago as an after-school program. The school holds as many as 14 performances each spring. She has adapted the performances to empower and include children with special needs. These students take tickets, have acting roles, and serve as student directors. Two years ago, she created a special fairy part for a special needs student. The student was cast as the Firefly who was a twin to Moth (an actual character). Of course, Firefly shadowed Moth throughout the play.
Linda is known for her service in numerous school and city activities where she has an endless supply of energy and creativity. She raised over $100,000 for both the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.
Jo Edan Parker, a special education teacher at Mapleton Junior, said, “Linda has a tremendous love for her students and a passion for education. When asked when she was going to retire, her response was, ‘If it’s not broken, why fix it.’ It is a rare occasion when we go somewhere in the community that she is not approached by former students who mention how she influenced their lives.”
Linda is very deserving of this award for making things happen and her positive impact on the lives of countless students in her 39 years of education.