New school honors teacher diagnosed with breast cancer

Students show their support of Mrs. Darrelleen Lewis by wearing pink and standing in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon. (Photos courtesy North Iowa Community Schools and Buffalo Center Tribune.)

Students show their support of Mrs. Darrelleen Lewis by wearing pink and standing in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon. (Photos courtesy North Iowa Community Schools and Buffalo Center Tribune.)

Buffalo Center, Iowa – It can be scary starting classes in a new school—for students and teachers alike. Darrelleen Lewis found that out when she and her family, husband Randy and sons, Austin JimBob and Gabriel, moved to Forest City from Lime Springs this summer.

Darrelleen had taught 14 years at Notre Dame Catholic Schools in Cresco in kindergarten, second and fifth grades, before getting a job at North Iowa Community Schools.

Since moving, Darrelleen found out she has breast cancer. Another scary situation is being in a different community and school.

Her new friends and students wanted her to know she was not alone in her fight. Last week was Homecoming Week for the Bisons, and the district changed Tuesday’s “Super Hero” dress up day to “Pink Day,” in honor of their new second grade teacher, Mrs. Lewis.

The following day, Darrelleen was having a double mastectomy. She is currently at home, and Randy says she is doing fine.

Cory Myer, Superintendent of North Iowa Community Schools gave this statement to Andrew Shaw at Buffalo Center Tribune:

“The pink out day started as a small gesture by our staff about a week ago. We occasionally do fundraisers by allowing staff to wear jeans to school if they pay $5 for a cause. We schedule this for Tuesday, the day before Mrs. Lewis went in for surgery.

The student council then decided to show their support by changing their dress up day to Pink Out. It all happened rather quickly and we were trying to show our support but also be respectful of her privacy. Someone (outside of the school) contacted KIMT and they showed up at school.

In her short time at North Iowa, Mrs. Lewis has already built a strong rapport with her students and our staff. She has a strong personality and I am confident she will fight and win this battle. We are truly blessed to have her at North Iowa and it has been wonderful to see everyone rally around her in support.”

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