Northside Independent School District teaching assistant Joseph Lewis always loved math. Growing up, Lewis enjoyed learning and mathematics came easy. As a teaching assistant, Lewis has worked with students from Pre-K through high school and assists in collaborative algebra and geometry classes at the charter school in San Antonio. He says for many students the struggles with these subjects are very real.
“I knew I wanted to pursue a teaching degree when I was substitute teaching for a seventh-grade pre-algebra class,” said Lewis. “The students seemed lost and discouraged. Someone needs to make math fun and engaging,” he said. “Teaching math was the perfect fit for me.”
In June, WGU Texas was able to make Lewis’ dream of earning his degree one step closer with a $2,000 Institutional Partners scholarship award. Lewis is currently enrolled in the B.S. Mathematics Education degree program at WGU Texas.
During a surprise presentation at the school, special education department coordinator Claudia Bialaszewski remarked “Mr. Lewis has a unique ability to work with students of all levels. He is making a difference in their education by showing respect and understanding their special needs. I know he will be an excellent teacher.”
Lewis says Bialaszewski and his supervisor Angela Taylor tell him that no matter what they throw at him he has exceeded their expectations, calling him the go-to, jack of all trades. He has worked in the classroom, as a secretary, served in the behavioral unit, been a job coach, a substitute teacher, and a one-on-one tutor.
“This scholarship will allow me to help students accomplish their goals and assist in their educational journeys,” said Lewis. “It is also life-changing for my family--from teacher’s assistant to one day, a teacher!”
Lewis wants to teach math at the high school level and work with students with disabilities. Long-term, he would like to step into a department coordinator role and eventually land an academic dean or principal position. Most importantly, Lewis wants to see every student pursue excellence and improve their lives.
Campus Coordinator and Lewis’ supervisor, Angela Taylor agrees. “Mr. Lewis values education and passes this on to the students. He works well with students with all ability levels and diverse backgrounds. Students respond to his patient approach,” she said. “He is a natural educator and will make even more of an impact as to continues his education, thanks in part to the scholarship award.”