With over five decades of experience to her credit, Fran Lewis holds considerable expertise in writing and interviewing. Since 2014, she has found success as the host of “Literary Viewpoints,” a blog and radio talk show through the MJ Network where she has also excelled as the editor of MJ Magazine, a magazine for authors, publishers and book lovers, since 2013. The author of 12 books since 2008, including “What If?” and “Sisters: Two Sisters from the Bronx,” she is best known for her “Bertha” series of children’s books, which includes three books “My Name is Bertha,” “Bertha Speaks Out” and “Bertha Fights Back.”
Earlier in her career, Ms. Lewis excelled as an educator, reading and writing staff developer, dean, and assistant to the assistant principal with the New York City Board of Education from 1967 to 2003. She taught every grade, kindergarten through 12th, over the years, sometimes even teaching combined classes of two grades in one class. Furthermore, she greatly enjoyed her work as a reading and writing specialist, conducting special group lessons to teach children how to read prior to the school day starting. Never really wanting to stop teaching, Ms. Lewis taught for as long as she was able before retiring.
Having achieved much over the course of her career, Ms. Lewis attributes her success to her mother’s support throughout her education and career. She is incredibly proud to have made a significant impact in the lives of so many students during her time as an educator and she has been thrilled to see her former students go on to excel as educators, health care workers, lawyers and activists. Looking toward the future, Ms. Lewis has plans to write more books, such as another sequel in the “Bertha” series and a book in her sister’s honor.
Drawn to a career in education through her mother’s encouragement and learning that her aunt worked in education, Ms. Lewis was further inspired by a number of excellent teachers that she had during her early education. Her third grade teacher, who was also the assistant principal, helped her to realize her innate leadership abilities to make people listen to her and foster understanding. Working with a rather difficult sixth grade class when she first started out, her fellow teachers, as well as the dean of the school, were suitably impressed with her disciplinary skills. For the entirety of her time as a teacher, Ms. Lewis’ love of teaching never faded and she was always determined to inspire her kids to be the best they could be. Impressively, not a single one of her students was ever held back in her 36 years of teaching.
Highly educated in her field, Ms. Lewis holds a total of three master’s degrees, along with additional licenses and diplomas. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she joined Hunter College, where she obtained a Master of Arts in reading and learning disabilities in 1987. She subsequently matriculated at Manhattan College, earning a Master of Arts in educational leadership and administration in 1994 and a master’s degree and professional diploma in supervision and administration in 1995. Additionally, she has achieved a principal license as well.
For excellence in her career, Ms. Lewis has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades over the years. Notably, she was named Teacher of the Year for her dedication to her students and her classroom. She has also been featured in Cambridge Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, Cambridge Who’s Who of America’s Executives and Professionals and Continental’s Who’s Who. Early on, she was recognized for her achievements through induction into Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education.