Longtime school board member honored as Distinguished Alumni by Jeannette
Jeannette resident Morrison “Moe” Lewis has been honored as the Distinguished Alumni this fall by Jeannette School District.
According to school board president Mark Gogolsky, the board selects an outstanding alumnus every year to be honored.
“This award is not because Moe is a school director and he is a good school director. It is because he is a graduate of Jeannette High School and he has done a lot of good things in the community and so much of it is behind the scenes,” said Gogolsky.
Lewis is a lifelong Jeannette resident and at 16 years old he began an apprenticeship as a glass cutter at the Jeannette Window House. He continued working at the Window House during his years at the University of Pittsburgh and at Pitt Law School.
After passing the bar, Lewis began practicing in Westmoreland County. In 1964, he was appointed to the school board in Jeannette but in 1971 he took a nine-year hiatus as he worked for the District Attorney’s Office. After leaving the office, he returned to school board and has been a board member ever since.
School directors Bill Brasco, Joe Yorio and Lewis have served together on the Jeannette School Board for about 30 years.
While working full time as a lawyer in his own practice, Lewis has been extremely involved in his community. Over the years he belonged to the Jeannette Jaycees and the Kiwanis Club.
For more than 20 years, Lewis and his wife, Rosemary, welcomed expectant mothers into their home. Generally the women were in the third pregnancy trimester and stayed with the Lewises until they gave birth.
The couple also fostered babies when needed, all at the same time they were raising their four daughters. He also still serves as a guardian ad litum for the Westmoreland County Family Court.
“This award is given to an outstanding alumnus every year. We choose Moe because he has done so many things for children that people don’t know about. He is just so deserving of this award, he has done so much,” said Brasco.
Lewis is also very involved in his church, Sacred Heart, where he serves as a Eucharistic Minister. In the past he served on the board of the Jeannette Hospital.
Other alumni to be honored by the school district have included Judge Anthony Marsili who sits on the bench in Westmoreland County and former Pittsburgh Steeler Dick Hoak.
Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.