Longfellow Elementary's Kelly Lucas
6th Grade Teacher
Longfellow Elementary School
"Kelly Lucas's passion for life and learning is displayed through the extra projects that she leads as a sixth grade teacher. She created and maintains a large edible garden at school. Students help prepare and plant the garden in the spring. Kelly tends the garden throughout the summer and in the fall students harvest and sample the produce. During the school year, Kelly shares and inspires a love for reading by hosting a lunch hour book club open to any sixth grade student.
As Longfellow Elementary prepared to celebrate its centennial on September 9, 2018, Kelly found her biggest undertaking to date: she took the lead and challenged her students to write a book, creating a 160-page, hard cover book entitled “100 Years of Longfellow”. In doing so, she coordinated the efforts of all the sixth grade students, other staff, and parent volunteers. Students researched and wrote about the history of the neighborhood, current events for each decade, and collected photos and newspaper articles from the last 100 years.
But the bulk of the book project consisted of over 40 student-conducted interviews of former students and staff. The project taught the students how to work collaboratively not only with current students and school staff, but with a diverse group of former students and staff: some local, some out-of-state, many who are retired, including one former student who is 100 years old. Through the interviews, the book project allowed the students to see firsthand the community's enthusiasm for education, appreciation of their youthful experiences in elementary school, and how education builds the foundation for a life of achievement.
To achieve the goal of completing the book, Kelly spent countless hours coordinating interview schedules, and editing and formatting the book. Simply stated, she went above and beyond."