Ella Lewis School

Ms. Joanne Beal » Home


I was in first grade when Mrs. McIntire sat her picture-perfect, blond-haired, blue-eyed niece in a chair at the back of the room because she would not recite the alphabet. I fell in love with Mrs. McIntire and the teaching profession right then. I knew when I grew up I would be a teacher and I would do my best to be just as fair as the honorable Mrs. MacIntire.

Mount Desert Island High School
University of Maine at Farmington, Associate Degree in Early Childhood- 1974
University of Maine at Machias-1988
University of Maine at Machias (Master of Ed.)-1998

Work History:
Narraguagus Nursery School- Five years
Harrington Elementary School-One year
Ella Lewis Elementary School- Ever Since!

Current Professional Commitments Beyond Teaching First Grade
Certification Committee and mentoring new teachers

At Ella Lewis I walked into a wonderfully large room that held very few books my students could read. I made it my mission to fill the room with books that my first graders would be able to read by the end of the school year.

I began a take-home reading program for first graders. Five years later, when I needed a focus for my final Master's of Education project, I researched the benefits of children reading beyond the classroom, wrote grants, and was featured on the cover and in the annual Maine Seacoast Mission report. Funding became available to improve the number and quality of books for my first graders. Since then I have been able to provide books for the program to continue in grades two and three.

My first grade classroom is a bright, cheerful place with children coming into an atmosphere where structure, routine, kindness, and caring are the norm. Most years I have two regular parent of community members who volunteer on a regular basis and others who come to help with our annual take-home reading practice, Mitten Play, gingerbread houses, and butterfly project.

I was a child when I decided to become an educator. I still have that wide-eyed warm feeling about teaching. Now I provide that same kind of fairness and excitement about learning that Mrs. McIntire, my first grade teacher modeled so many years ago.