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HFA: Elementary School Founding Principal Receives Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 Award

posted Oct 29, 2013, 8:28 AM by Lisa Kreinbring   [ updated Oct 29, 2013, 8:32 AM ]

DETROIT – October 28, 2013
-- Curtis Lewis, Ph.D., Founding Principal of Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School ( in Detroit, has been honored in the 2013 Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 program, which identifies and recognizes “Generation Next,” the young leaders who are making decisions that will ultimately equip Detroit to compete and thrive in the global market. Dr. Lewis received his award during a celebration at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Friday, October 25, 2013.In her nomination, Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School parent Dr. Kimberly Elyse wrote at length about his impact not only on the school’s students, but also their parents: 

Dr. Lewis takes time to teach the parents that their role is far greater than just dropping a child off and picking them up. Dr. Lewis teaches that parents must model for their children the expectations and design thinking principles that we are transferring to them. To that end, computer programs and computer literacy help are available to the parents; informative and interactive workshops are conducted to give parent

s hands on, experience in design thinking models. One of Dr. Lewis’ most used quotes in the Parents as Partners meetings is ‘You know this comes from a good place.’ His advice, direction, teaching, and life coaching for parents truly does come from a good place. A place that wants the parents to succeed as much as the kids. A place that knows that investing in tomorrow’s leaders begins with cultivating the resources available today. A place that knows that it is easier to accomplish a goal alone but more effective to work at bringing along the community to sustain the work after the goal is met.”

An accomplished urban educator, Dr. Lewis came to Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School prior to its opening in September 2012 from Teach for America – Detroit, where he was most recently a manager of Teacher Leadership Development; during that time, he was also a visiting instructor at the University of Michigan and a contracted Student Services Specialist with the Lansing (MI) School District. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary education and Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. He was a 5th grade teacher, middle school math teacher, and an alternative education teacher at the secondary level. After seven years of teaching, he returned to school to obtain his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Lewis taught classes at Michigan State University, coordinated an intervention program for first time youth offenders, and was director of a mentoring program for young males of color.

About Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School

Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40

Public School Academies of Detroit’s Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School prepares students in grades K-5 to read, write, and do math at or above grade level, engages all students through project-based learning, equip students with design thinking as a process for innovation and creativity, and provides a

strong foundation in art and design. By transforming the former Duane Doty School, a 1908 historic Arts and Crafts building, into a Thompson Foundation 90/90 School with high expectations for academic and personal achievement, a reclaimed treasure is once again providing educational opportunity and serving as an anchor for the greater Boston-Edison area. One of 51 Detroit schools that Excellent Schools Detroit recently highlighted as “making the grade,” Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is developed and managed by Henry Ford Learning Institute, authorized by Grand Valley State University and governed by Public School Academies of Detroit. Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School is tuition-free and academic ability is not a factor in admission. Visit or call 313-826-1159 for more information. Media contact: Lisa Kreinbring, or 248-259-4066.