Lorna Lewis, school superintendent on Long Island, was named president of the New York State Council of Supervisors. I don’t normally note events of this sort but do so now, first because of her inspiring story as an immigrant from Jamaica who enriched our country, but mostly because of a wonderful poem that she cited.

“Being a pioneer in her career field is nothing new for Lewis, who over the past decade has emerged as the first black female educator on the Island to take charge of two predominantly white school districts. She is now completing her sixth year in the 4,790-student Plainview-Old Bethpage district, after spending five years in the 1,700-student East Williston system.

“Lewis, who came to New York from Jamaica as a teenager in the early 1970s, believes that her success in running high-achieving suburban districts conveys a message that people need to hear in a time when immigration is a political hot button…

“Lewis, who is now in her 60s, spent her childhood in Jamaica’s capital of Kingston. She was raised by an aunt who was a schoolteacher and principal, and who instilled in her a passionate belief that a solid education was the sure route to upward mobility.

“Lewis still remembers the words of a song she memorized in school, with lyrics by Desmond Dekker, a popular Jamaican singer-songwriter:

“Labor for learning before you grow old,
Because learning is better than silver and gold.
Silver and gold will vanish away,
But a good education will never decay.”

“At age 16, Lewis enrolled at Fordham University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physics. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in the same subject from Rutgers University and a doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University.”

Friends tell me she loves testing. If she reads this, I hope she will take my advice to read “The Death and Life of the Great AMERICAN School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education” and “Reign of Error.” Good summer reading!