Curtis Lewis, Ph. D.
In 2015, Dr. Lewis had a vision to galvanize all his learning, years of experience, and network of educators to marshal in a new organization with the primary goal to recruit, retain, and develop black male educators. Black Male Educators Alliance of Michigan was established to dismantle the institutional impediments to diversity within the educational profession, thereby improving the educational experiences of urban youth.
Dr. Lewis is an accomplished urban educator. He taught for several years as a 5th grade teacher, middle school math teacher, and an alternative education teacher at the secondary level for the Lansing Public School District. He was also the founding principal of Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School, and the turnaround principal for Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies – a premier college prep art and design middle/high school in the heart of Detroit. Dr. Lewis is currently the Chief of Teaching and Learning for Detroit 90/90’s 10 school network, which includes University Preparatory Academy K12 District (UPA), University Prep Art & Design K-12 District (UPAD) and University Prep Science and Math K12 District (UPSM). Dr. Lewis earned his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and Doctoral degree in Education Policy and Curriculum Teaching – all from Michigan State University. He credits his educational experience at MSU for instilling in him a strong foundation in teacher development and math curriculum and instruction.
After years of teaching, Dr. Lewis set his sights on impacting education at the administrative and collegiate levels. While in graduate school, he taught a myriad of courses 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. He also served as a visiting instructor at the University of Michigan and as a Student Services Specialist with the Lansing School District. Dr. Lewis has presented his research findings in urban education at a host of conferences, most notably the American Education Research Association (AERA) and Piaget Society Conference. Prior to his tenor as Principal at the Henry Ford Academies, he was Manager of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach for America for which he received the Core Value Team award for his unwavering commitment to effectively developing young educators. In, 2013, Dr. Lewis was recognized in the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 cohort of rising young leaders in Metro Detroit.
Dr. Lewis has been nationally recognized for his dedication to building culturally relevant learning communities for students of color. He was selected to the third cohort of the nationally recognized America Achieves Fellowship for Teachers and Principals. He actively participated – as facilitator – in Ford’s Men of Courage event in Baltimore; a national program committed to changing the narrative for African American males. His published works include a chapter in “Mentoring African American Males: A Research Design Comparison Perspective” (2014). In 2015 he met with former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, senior U.S. Department of Education officials for two days of learning and advising at the White House, as part of the Principals at ED effort. In May 2017, he was a full scholarship recipient to learn in partnership with other superintendents, principals, and district innovative leaders in the Leading Educator Program at the Arizona State University GSV Summit.
As Chief of Teaching and Learning for Detroit 90/90, Dr. Lewis has collaborated with a cadre of Michigan school administrators, college professors, business leaders and school organizers to adopt research-based best practices that foster deeper learning and restorative practice culture models in school environments. His passion and commitment to dismantling anti-intellectualism in public education is paralleled by his innate desire to transform the landscape of learning institutions in America.
Curtis Lewis, Ph. D.
Chairman of the Board