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Teacher feature: Spanish teacher shares love of traveling with PV students

Se%C3%B1or+Andrew+Lewis+teaches+Spanish+2%2C+Honors+Spanish+3%2C+Spanish+5%2C+and+coaches+the+volleyball+team.
Señor Andrew Lewis teaches Spanish 2, Honors Spanish 3, Spanish 5, and coaches the volleyball team.

Señor Andrew Lewis teaches Spanish 2, Honors Spanish 3, Spanish 5, and coaches the volleyball team.

Curstine Guevarra

Curstine Guevarra

Señor Andrew Lewis teaches Spanish 2, Honors Spanish 3, Spanish 5, and coaches the volleyball team.

Jake Topolosky, Staff Writer

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Here at Pascack Valley, we are very fortunate to have talented and caring teachers who provide us with so much knowledge and expertise. Have you ever wondered about how and why our teachers chose to work in the field of education? Or what experiences have shaped who they are, and what makes them special? 

“Él que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho,” is an excerpt from the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. It translates to, “one who reads a lot and travels a lot, sees a lot and knows a lot.”

Mr. Andrew Lewis, a Spanish teacher and volleyball coach here at Pascack Valley, can wholeheartedly relate to this quote. He has traveled across the globe, to countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

According to Lewis, exploring foreign countries is a powerful experience, which he describes as “life-changing”. He often shares his stories with his students at PV. 

“My travels in Mexico, Spain, and South America have had a huge impact on my life. I have many photographs and stories of my travels, which I share with my classes every year. I love the history, art, culture, literature of Latin America. I feel that travel makes one a more well rounded person,” Lewis said.

He said that when people learn about the world and it’s many languages, they also get a better understanding of the world’s people.

“I believe that when people learn about other cultures they become more accepting. They lose any fears or prejudices that they may hold. They expand their own point of view and learn that it is possible to work and live together,” said Lewis.

He strives to help his students of different lifestyles and backgrounds to better understand each other and connect by incorporating various global cultures into his lessons. 

Lewis started traveling after graduating from Dumont High School as the baseball team captain. He decided to study abroad in Mexico City during his junior year of college at Rutgers University.

“I mastered the Spanish language and fell in love with the Hispanic culture. I wanted to bring that knowledge and enthusiasm to my students,” said Lewis

His adventures, knowledge, and appreciation for world cultures, especially the Hispanic culture, has greatly contributed to his success in today’s global society.

In his 37th year as a Spanish teacher here at PV, Lewis said, “I still love to come to work every day because the students and faculty here at PV are very special.”

Señor Lewis teaches his Spanish 5 class commands.

Curstine Guevarra
Señor Lewis teaches his Spanish 5 class commands.

This year, Lewis teaches two Spanish 5 classes, two Honors Spanish 3 classes, and one Spanish 2 class.

Lewis conveys his knowledge of the Hispanic culture via dynamic lessons that include multimedia, opportunities for learning through teamwork, and vocal exercises, as well.

In addition to the knowledge that Lewis provides regarding the Hispanic language and culture, his love for sports has also contributed to the success of the volleyball teams.

“I have coached volleyball here for the past 20 years, and I am absolutely crazy about the sport. If there’s the choice of watching NCAA or Olympic Volleyball or watching the NFL or NBA, I will choose volleyball every time!” said Lewis.

“I am a strong believer in public education. I think that providing a good education for everyone is what made this country great, so I would urge every student here to take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity that they have here,” he said. “You have many great teachers who can and will enlighten you about all different aspects of life. Turn off the videogame, open a book, listen to your teachers, set your goals high, and like Don Quijote de la Mancha, ‘reach for the unreachable star.’”

 

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Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Teacher feature: Spanish teacher shares love of traveling with PV students