Teacher Appreciation Week is every week at Choice Schools, especially when we are celebrating momentous milestones such as 20 years of service to students at WMAES!
We are honored to commemorate anniversaries of staff who have devoted years of talent and growth to our schools, and this year we would like to give special thanks to Ms. Sarah Lameris at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. This year Ms. Lameris is celebrating 20 years with WMAES! 20 years of dedication, love, passion and energy poured into every student and fellow staff member. We connected with Ms. Lameris to reflect on her two decades of growth and memories with Choice.
“I’m not sure where to begin… I love it here!” said Ms. Lameris, when asked about her 20 years of service. “As I think back to when I began at WMAES in 2001 to WMAES today, wow, so many positive changes!”
From portable classrooms to permanent buildings, she has seen so much growth. From the small portable building that housed all the necessities of WMAES, to seeing the ample space and outdoor learning spaces they have for their students is remarkable.
“I’ve seen transformation in the library and technology lab, and the little room off the library used to even be a Choice office. The transportation office and teachers lounge was also in this building with the student cafeteria.”
“Let’s not forget the Environmental Science room tucked in the other corner,” Ms. Lameris added. “I can’t believe everything could fit in there!”
Not only has Ms. Lameris seen growth in the size and amenities of WMAES, but she has experienced tremendous growth in her students. She loves hearing from former students who are thriving in life after WMAES. She tries to stay in touch with her students to see how they have progressed over the years.
She is most proud of the family community of Choice, especially at the beginning of the WMAES and Choice partnership. Nearly twenty years ago, everyone at Choice pitched in where needed. Sarah Wildey, the current Choice Schools CEO and then director of human resources, was the first substitute teacher for Ms. Lameris’ Kindergarten class.
“The students, staff, administration, community members; I smile with so many great memories,” Ms. Lameris shared. “I can’t believe it has already been 20 years.”
Before they broke ground for the high school, many teachers, including Ms. Lameris, dug up the daffodils around the old farmhouse that stood on the corner of Leonard and Wilson. A few of those daffodils are still alive in her yard today.
We asked Ms. Lameris what words of wisdom she would like to share with current and aspiring teachers and she said, “Embrace change. Seek new opportunities to learn from others. Be flexible! Stay positive.”
Thank you, Ms. Lameris for all you have done and continue to do to transform the lives of students in your years with West Michigan!