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Faculty Spotlight: Charla Lewis

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 11/26/2018 Charla Lewis —Photo courtesy Chris Urias Photography Charla Lewis —Photo courtesy Chris Urias Photography

Goodwell, Okla. — A woman of many hats, Charla Lewis is currently serving as Assistant Professor, Director of Instrumental Music, Department Chair of Music, and Director of Music Education at Panhandle State.

Originally from Hugoton, Kan., she graduated as salutatorian of her high school class and continued her education at Panhandle State earning a bachelor of Specialty in Vocal Music Education with an Instrumental Endorsement. Lewis went on to earn a master’s degree in Music Education from Emporia State University. Her first teaching job started with teaching 1-12th grade general music, band, and choir in Forgan, Okla. Lewis went on to teach at Goodwell Public Schools and in the school system at Liberal, Kan. before finding her way back to Panhandle State in 2012.

She currently teaches concert and athletic bands, music theory, and other music courses that teach students how to teach public school music students. The concert band performs two concerts a semester and the athletic band performs at most home football and basketball games. This year is an especially exciting one as it marks the first time in about 20 years for the band to march at home football games. She is also the music department chairperson which involves managing the department, creating class schedules each semester, creating programs for concerts, creating reports on assessments. In addition, Lewis serves as the Director of Scholarships/ Recruiting for the College of Arts and Education and is a member of the Teacher Education Council on campus.

“I want to continue to grow our music program. I want to increase the number of music majors and send out brand new music teachers into our eager community for our kids. I’d like to see the size of the band program double in the next two years and keep on growing so much that we’ll need to build a new auditorium and rehearsal room to hold us!” Lewis commented on her favorite thing about Panhandle State, “I love that we are a small university and care about each other. We want to see each other succeed and often help guide each other’s successes. I love getting to know my students and helping them express themselves through music. But most of all, I love teaching future educators—teaching them how to share their love of music with others.”

Charla has one daughter and two granddaughters. She is engaged to a wonderful man, Lance Ferry. She is a fan of anything having to do with Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. She loves to do carpentry, has almost every tool needed to remodel you can imagine. She wrote a biography about her life and times with her late husband and was in the final round for winning a contest with it.