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Award being created to honor beloved teacher killed in house fire


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    MIDTOWN MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — It has been more than a month since a beloved Mobile Catholic school teacher was killed in a heartbreaking house fire in Midtown.

We now know at least one way St. Mary Catholic School is working to honor Lillis Lewis.

They will be starting an award called the ‘Love Like Lillis Award.’ It will be given to a St. Mary teacher every month who goes above and beyond expectations.

To make sure the winning teachers feel extra special, two students are teaching everyone a lesson in kindness.

There is a lot of ways to spend $1,800 won in a raffle, but St. Mary Catholic School 4th graders Avery Hathorne and Foster Quinn are not going to spend it on themselves. Instead, they are using it on their teachers.

“They deserve it very much for how much they do,” Quinn said.

“They make us feel special so this is to make them feel special,” Hathorne said.

The money will be used to fund the ‘Love Like Lillis Award’ and gift.

It is named in honor of Pre-K teacher Lillis Lewis who died in a Midtown house fire in April.

Every month, starting next year, a St. Mary teacher who embodies Lewis’ love for her students will be honored.

Quinn and Hathorne are happy to help make this extra special for those who do so much for them.

“The teachers really deserve to feel special,” Hathorne said. “They make me want to learn which is very hard and I just thought it would be really good for them.”

“Ms. Lillis, she taught us how to love one another and she taught everyone fairly and equally and I gave it back to the teachers because of how much they do for us,” Quinn said.

Students will have the chance to nominate teachers who have had a positive impact on their lives. They will drop the nominations in a box decorated with sunflowers, Ms. Lewis’ favorite. Principal Debbie Ollis believes the award will mean a lot to her staff.

“She’s just so beloved here and so I think it will mean so much to them and the fact that the children have a part in it, it’s just going to be fantastic,” she said.

Two students giving back, making sure those who take care of them get a little care of their own.

“It’s just a good deed and little things can go a long way,” Quinn said.

This Friday those two students will be presenting the check to the “Love Like Lillis Award’ fund and debuting the nomination box that will be used starting next school year.

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