Current Carrollton BOE members pose with Mrs. Lewis following the dedication. From left are Dr. Jason Mount, Melanie McLendon, Katie Williams, Lewis, Dr. Jimmy Pope, David Godwin, Greg Dothard, and Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent.
Lewis served 22 years on Board of Education
A long-time Carrollton Board of Education member whose unwavering love for Carrollton City Schools helped set the stage for student success for generations to come was recognized for her service with the dedication of a conference room in her honor.
Helen Fay Lewis served on the board from 1979 to 2001, and of those 22 years, she led the board as chair seven times and served as a Georgia School Boards Association district director for a decade. She was honored by GSBA in 1997 for her "unparalleled commitment to America's children through school board leadership and service."
The Carrollton Board of Education paid tribute to Lewis at the board's November work session, held in one of Carrollton High School Media Center's conference rooms, the one that is dedicated in her honor.
Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent, said although he had never worked directly with Lewis, he was well aware of her impact on the school district.
"Other board members, school leaders, and staff who were here during her tenure say Mrs. Lewis had a reputation as a leader with passion and conviction, and proved it through her quiet, steady leadership style," said Albertus.
Lewis and her family attended the short dedication before the work session convened. Dr. Albertus presented her with a replica of a plaque mounted on the wall beside the conference room as a gesture of appreciation for her service. Touched by the recognition, Lewis said about her board service, "This was a journey well worth taking."
Board Chairman Dr. Jimmy Pope, who is retiring next month, is the only current board member who served alongside Lewis.
"Helen Fay was there when I became part of the board," said Pope. "She was a well-respected leader whose tenure as chair saw very little controversy. Her service went beyond our local district when she became a district director for the Georgia School Boards Association. When she retired, I followed her in that role which was very advantageous for me."
Lewis was appointed in October 1979 to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Tracy Stallings, who resigned for a successful run to become mayor of Carrollton. She subsequently was elected to the board and then re-elected for five consecutive terms, retiring in 2001.
Tom Upchurch, who served as superintendent from 1981 to 1994, recalled Lewis as a strong leader.
"Helen Fay Lewis gave unselfishly of her time and talents to the Carrollton City Schools Board of Education for many years," said Upchurch. "Her tenure was at a time when Carrollton City Schools was recognized not only statewide but nationally as a model for public schools. Her leadership as chair of the board during the development of the city schools' long-term strategic plan resulted in not only this magnificent physical plant but unprecedented academic achievement of our students."
Mrs. Lewis is pictured with her family following the dedication: From left are granddaughter Katie Stallings, daughter Janis Stallings, Mrs. Lewis, church pastor Jay Sutton, grandson Daniel Stallings, son-in-law John Stallings, and husband John T. Lewis.