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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A bitter-sweet day for one South Florida teacher who, after 49 years of teaching, is on to the next chapter of her life.
Claudia Lewis is a second grade teacher at Silver Bluff Elementary in Miami.
Lewis, like every other day, arrived at the school. What she didn’t know is that the school had a very special send-off celebration planned for her.
The surprise filled Lewis’s heart with shock—and much joy.
After 50 years of working for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Lewis is moving on to a brand new chapter in her life.
“There are parents who are telling me, ‘Ms. Lewis don’t retire now, stay on, stay on, I want you to teach my kid’ but I can’t have every parent’s kid,” she said.
But Ms. Lewis isn’t leaving without a dance with Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
“Here is somebody who has seen it all and taught countless of numbers of kids and we are better for it,” Carvalho said.
Lewis began her career in the school system in 1965 when Lyndon B. Johnson was president. To put it in perspective, the average cost of a new home was $13,000 and a gallon of regular gas cost 31-cents.
Her years of wisdom transcends generations and is great words for teachers of the new generation can use, “Get to know your class, get to know the children, then you’ll find out they love you and everything will work out.”
One of Lewis’s first students, Maria Carvajal, was at the send-off along with her son, also one of Lewis’s students, and his daughter, Denise, who is currently a student in Lewis’s second grade class at Silver Bluff.
Ms. Lewis won’t be going too far, however, she will be a substitute teacher at Silver Bluff elementary after a well-deserved summer vacation.