Over the past 25 years, Penny Lewis has at one time or another served in almost all positions within the Tunbridge School. On the day that we visited Penny was substituting as a classroom teacher and then the following day she was on board to substitute as the food service manager. According to Tracy Vesper, one of her colleagues and good friends, Penny brings a great attitude with her into the school each and every day. “Penny checks in with all the staff regularly to ask how much water we have drunk and how many steps we have taken,” she said. “She reminds me to send emails about wellness leader events. She helps me to take care of myself and tells me all the time how important we are for what we do in our public schools. She is a rock star and deserves to be recognized.”
Joanne Melanson, the school’s principal added that Penny is terrific among students and staff. When anyone is having a bad day, she has the ability to know what to say or not to say. And she is very skilled at being able to readily adapt to whatever changes we make.
After a conversation with her doctor a year ago, Lewis decided to make some significant changes to her daily life. “I was a diet soda and M and M fiend and my weight was going up and up each year,” she said. “I gave up the diet soda and the M and M’s and now walk up to five miles a day, either inside or outside in reasonable weather. Over the summer I lost several pounds and I have been able to maintain this loss throughout this school year,” she said proudly. “And I am challenging myself to lose more weight next summer.”
“My husband is very supportive of all that I am doing to take care of myself,” Lewis said. “He stopped buying multiple bags of M and M’s and he walks with me too. Lewis has several grandchildren who live in the community and she is always happy to help her husband with his logging operation. And she absolutely loves animals.
“My favorite place to visit is Boonville, a small town in the Oneida County, New York,” she said as she shared several pictures. “There are so many deer that live in the town. “The last time my husband and I visited and walked a mile to dinner, we counted 23 deer.”