Abe Lewis will be the Director of the new LEAD Center, which is under construction at M-58 and Foxridge Dr. in Raymore. LEAD stands for Learning, Experiences, And Discovery. The center will open in August 2022 with several programs for Ray-Pec High School students.
The Board approved the hiring during its Jan. 27 meeting. The new position begins this summer.
Dr. Kristel Barr, Director of Secondary Education, said the district is excited to have Lewis as the Director.
“He has built a strong machining program over the last two years and we are confident he will continue to build quality programs for our students in other areas,” Barr said. “In addition, he has many years of administrative experience which will greatly benefit the staff and students of the LEAD Center.”
Lewis currently teaches several Industrial Arts classes at Ray-Pec High School, including the Computer Integrated Machining and Manufacturing courses, which will move to the LEAD Center for the 2022-23 school year.
Lewis came to Ray-Pec in 2020 from the Adrian R-III School District, where he had been high school/middle school principal, and earlier was the assistant principal and activities director.
Before working in Adrian, he was a science teacher and coach for seven years at Harrisonville High School.
Lewis said he is excited about the opportunity to serve Ray-Pec students in this new role.
"The purpose of the LEAD Center is to grow and expand student educational programs to increase engagement, relevance, and purpose for our students,” he said. “Our students and community are excited about the new building and the potential opportunities. We will work hard to create a culture and environment that allows our students to achieve success now and in their future endeavors."
Lewis and his wife live in Peculiar with their three children, Violet, Devin, and Mavora.
Lewis earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in educational administration from Emporia State University. He is currently working on his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and anticipates completion in December 2022.
Lewis was also featured in a Staff Spotlight video last year. Meet Abe Lewis
LEAD Center programs
Construction is currently underway to renovate the LEAD Center facility. The district purchased the building in February 2021 to provide additional opportunities in the area of career oriented education and real world learning experiences. The facility, which has about 41,000 square feet, had been vacant for several years.
Machining is just one of the programs to be located in the new LEAD Center. The Ray-Pec Enterprise & Design program will also relocate to the LEAD Center. Other programs planned for location next year at the site include electrical studies, a future teachers program, and co-location with a business.
As Ray-Pec High School students prepare to enroll for classes for the 2022-2023 school year, a video simulation is introducing them to the LEAD Center space. During course selection night on Jan. 26, students were able to view a video tour of the LEAD Center. You can watch the video here.