Monsignor Gerald L. Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching Finalists 2018-2019

The Lewis Award Committee is pleased to announce the following finalists for the 2018–2019 Monsignor Gerald L. Lewis Award for Excellence in Teaching:

Mrs. Julie Cummins, St. Patrick Catholic School, Fayetteville
Mrs. Laurie Huger, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Raleigh
Mr. Homer Spring, Infant of Prague Catholic School, Jacksonville

The recipient of the award will be selected following February onsite classroom visitations and interviews by the committee.


Mrs. Julie Cummins has taught first grade at St. Patrick Catholic School in Fayetteville for the past 14 years. When asked to describe what it takes to be an outstanding educator, Mrs. Cummins responded, “A positive relationship is needed between teacher and student to foster growth both academically and emotionally. I believe in differentiated instruction and….finding the best learning style/environment for each of my students. It takes… persistence and reflection, but it’s so rewarding when students meet their full potential.”

Mrs. Cummins actively participates in the Cumberland County Autism Society and the Triangle Down Syndrome Network. She also has assumed leadership roles as pre-K to fourth grade team leader; Student Council moderator; long-time Parent Teacher Organization board member; Book-It Club coordinator; and program facilitator for the Parish Newly Married Program.

Mrs. Laurie Huger has 24 years of experience with the past 17 as the third grade teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Raleigh. Mrs. Huger describes teaching as a “vocation (where you must) want to create lasting relationships with students, faculty, and families. Continually stepping out of your comfort zone will keep you fresh! Being a team player is essential to being an integral part of your school, professional learning communities, and student support teams.”

Mrs. Huger started and has coached Our Lady of Lourdes middle school lacrosse team for 14 years and has an annual lacrosse clinic for middle school students to host younger students, donations of food collected at the clinic benefit Catholic Parish Outreach. Mrs. Huger is co-chair of the annual One Love Lacrosse Playday to benefit One Love Foundation, which focuses on teaching students about healthy relationships; has facilitated workshops to educate high school students about healthy relationships; is a member of the school technology committee; works as a volunteer coordinator for NC Catholics Volunteer (rebuilding homes in Tarboro following Hurricane Matthew); and has been a parish council member for six years.

Mr. Homer Spring has a teaching career that spans 40 years with the last five as the middle school mathematics teacher at Infant of Prague Catholic School, Jacksonville. Mr. Spring believes “teaching is a gift (that I use) to connect math to my students’ everyday lives. Lessons incorporate real-world applications…. When I can find what ‘triggers’ an individual student’s interest, I use that to make math relevant to them.”

Mr. Spring has implemented multiple enrichment activities for Infant of Prague students, including the Catholic Math League; Middle School MathCounts coach; Elementary MathCounts coach; Science Olympiad coach/advisor; and History Bee. He volunteers to teach technology electives; is instrumental in updating and troubleshooting technology in classrooms and parish office; serves as a Eucharistic Minister and a safe environment trainer; is the Jacksonville Planning Advisory Board chair and past chair of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.