Roles: Houseparent, Facilities Enhancement Coordinator
Tell us about your family. I am the middle of three brothers and we all live in the Columbia area. I’ve been married to Connie for almost 30 years and we have 7 children, three of whom we adopted. We will have our 9th grandchild in May. Three of our grandchildren are at Ben Lippen School with Kalyn being the oldest of all of them.
What do you like to do in your free time? If I can get outside, I am in my favorite place. I love to run, backpack, play sports, and watch sports – I am a long-suffering (and sometimes joyful) Gamecock fan.
What else would you like readers to know about you? Though my mother is my birth mother, my dad adopted my brothers and me when I was about five years old. Therefore, my last name was changed from Odom to Lewis at an early age.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I have had two things in my life that catapulted me to greater things. First, I completed my first of six marathons in 2002 and immediately, I went back to school to earn an MBA. Completing one difficult event gave me confidence to go on to something even greater. Second, in 2006, I completed a 9-day backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon that risked life and limb for the entire group of four. One of our group was flown out of the canyon by helicopter. Completing this hike gave me the confidence to quit my job (which I loathed) and go into business with my family. We were extremely successful and we all loved working together. I have learned that sometimes God places events in your life to give you the nudge to do what He has designed for you. He simply wants us to trust Him!
What do you love most about your job? In my role as Houseparent, I love that I get to work with Mrs. Connie and have the opportunity to affect the lives of so many students. Our students come to us from around the world and they are doing something most of us would never attempt – earn a diploma in a language that is not their first. They are so courageous and I am impressed every day by them. As Facilities Enhancement Coordinator, I get to work with all of the faculty and staff and troubleshoot, as best I can with the resources available, any and all things pertaining to the look and function of both of our campuses. It takes SO MANY eyes and ears to make Ben Lippen School as beautiful as it is. It is rewarding to see our projects completed and God’s school beautified.