MBE for re­tired teacher Bryan

West Lothian Courier - - News - Mar­jorie Kerr

A West Loth­ian res­i­dent has been awarded an hon­orary MBE thanks to his star­tling ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion.

Bryan Lewis, from Stoney­burn, has been a teacher at the Ersk­ine Stew­art’s Melville Schools ( ESM) for 40 years and is one of Scot­land’s lead­ing ed­u­ca­tors, ut­terly de­voted to de­vel­op­ing tal­ent and in­spir­ing young peo­ple.

Mr Lewis was joined by his wife, chil­dren and grand­chil­dren when he was of­fi­cially pre­sented with his hon­orary MBE by LordLieu­tenant of West Loth­ian, Ms Moira Niven at a re­cent cer­e­mony at West Loth­ian Civic Cen­tre.

West Loth­ian’s Lord Lieu­tenant Moira Niven said: “It’s won­der­ful to have Bryan hon­oured by the Queen in the 2016 New Year’s Hon­ours List.

“Mr Lewis has ded­i­cated over 40 years of his life to ed­u­ca­tion, guid­ing countless young peo­ple across Ed­in­burgh and the Loth­i­ans with the aim of pro­vid­ing them with the most pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble.”

He has been vice-prin­ci­pal of the Ersk­ine Stew­art’s Melville School since 2001 and has an un­ceas­ing mis­sion to broaden the hori­zons of all pupils in­clud­ing those not in his care.

Af­ter vis­it­ing a nearby school with few fa­cil­i­ties, he sug­gested send­ing some of his own staff to help in ar­eas such as drama.

Af­ter speak­ing to the chil­dren and es­tab­lish­ing their big­gest wish was to swim, he gave them ac­cess to ESM’s swim­ming pool. He even drove the school minibus to take the chil­dren there and back.

Through­out his ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion, Mr Lewis has con­trib­uted greatly to Ed­in­burgh’s art scene.

Ed­in­burgh would be the worse off with­out the out­stand­ing per­for­mances pro­duced by many chil­dren in West End shows such as Joseph and other pro­duc­tions for which the cast from the Ersk­ine Stew­art’s Melville Schools have now been per­form­ing in for over 15 years.

The chil­dren also pro­vided the choir for the Royal Ed­in­burgh Mil­i­tary Tat­too.

His work in pro­mot­ing the Tom Flem­ing Cen­tre at Stew­art’s Melville Col­lege has done much to at­tract re­gional, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies to Ed­in­burgh as it is one of the few mid­dle sized au­di­to­ria in the cap­i­tal which can cater at a high level for mu­si­cal events.

In 2013, he sup­ported the Lag­gan­lia Cen­tre which is used widely by state schools in the Loth­i­ans for out­door ed­u­ca­tion.

The cen­tre had their fund­ing cut so he en­gaged all 208 chil­dren of pri­mary seven in a 26km marathon walk which raised £23,000. This en­sured the Trust could con­tinue to main­tain the fa­cil­i­ties nec­es­sary for chil­dren to en­joy the ben­e­fits of an­nual camps and out­door ex­pe­di­tions.

Over the last seven years he has sup­ported the Ch­es­ney Trust for Ed­u­ca­tion in Malawi af­ter hear­ing of a project to build a board­ing school for un­der­priv­i­leged girls.

A for­mal link has now been set up between ESM, Chisangano Pri­mary and Ed­in­burgh Girls’ High School in North­ern Malawi.

He has also had a role in the sport­ing suc­cess of for­mer ESM pupil and 800m Euro­pean Ath­let­ics cham­pion, Lynsey Sharp af­ter he spot­ted her prow­ess for ath­let­ics dur­ing her early years at the school.

He was there to of­fer ad­vice on ca­reer path­ways and to en­sure she kept an aca­demic fo­cus.

He also found her a ma­jor spon­sor to help with prepa­ra­tions for Rio 2016 as well as le­gal sup­port when ap­peals were lodged against her se­lec­tion for Lon­don 2012, where she even­tu­ally reached the semi-fi­nal.

Mr Lewis has ded­i­cated over 40 years of his life to ed­u­ca­tion

Pre­sen­ta­tion Bryan Lewis with Lord Lieu­tenant Moira Niven

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