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Belmont University Education School Dean Wayne Lewis spoke to Tennessean Opinion Editor David Plazas.

Nashville Tennessean

The Tennessee Voices videocast brings readers conversations with authors of insightful and compelling guest columns.

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  • David Plazas is the director of opinion and engagement for the USA TODAY Network Tennessee.

Hurricane Katrina displaced Wayne D. Lewis Jr. and his wife in 2005, leading them to uproot themselves to North Carolina for new opportunities. 

Lewis knows what it’s like to experience life disruption and the former classroom teacher is well aware of how COVID-19 has upended the lives of so many children in his new home in the Nashville area, across Tennessee and the United States.

On Jan. 1, he became the inaugural dean of Belmont University’s School of Education after having served as commissioner of education in Kentucky.

Wayne Lewis, Dean, School of Education, Belmont University (Photo: Submitted)

On this episode of the Tennessee Voices podcast, we talked about the inequities in the public school system and how to address them in the coronavirus era.

He considers effective teachers the most important factors in bridging equity gaps.

“COVID has presented our nation with an opportunity to think critically about what we’re doing about education,” he said.

We also discussed Belmont’s Presidential Debate Essay contest for Metro Nashville Public Schools middle school and high school students.

These young people are being invited to write essays on one of a variety of questions regarding the American political system and civic engagement in the lead up to the third 2020 presidential debate, which takes place on Belmont’s campus on Oct. 22.

The contest due date is Oct. 5.

When he is not working, Lewis has enjoyed spending quality time with his 5-year-old in different activities and also reading books.

Related column: Nashville public school students can win acclaim and cash in Belmont essay contest | Plazas

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About Tennessee Voices

The Tennessee Voices videocast is a 20-minute program that invites leaders, thinkers and innovators who have written guest columns for a USA TODAY Network – Tennessee publication to share their insights and wisdom with me and our viewers.

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David Plazas is the director of opinion and engagement for the USA TODAY Network –  Tennessee and an editorial board member of The Tennessean. Tweet to him at @davidplazas

Read or Share this story: https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/columnists/david-plazas/2020/09/29/tennessee-voices-wayne-lewis-belmont-university/3560950001/