When Meagan Lampe started her job as a speech-language pathologist at Lithia’s Colleen Bevis Elementary School last year, she had a very special advantage. Lampe, who now lives in Riverview, was a member of the first group of students to graduate from Bevis in 2001.
When the school opened its doors for its charter year in 2000, Lampe was in fifth grade, so she and her classmates were the first students to complete their elementary school education at Bevis. In 2001, Lampe headed to middle school at Randall then on to Newsome High School, Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Central Florida and earned a master’s degree from Florida State University.
“Throughout high school and college, I worked at preschools and loved working with young children,” said Lampe. “I would see speech-language pathologists come into the preschools to work with children who had communication difficulties and I was drawn to it. So I changed from an early childhood education major to speech-language pathology.”
After graduating from UCF, Lampe moved to Boca Raton, where she worked for Palm Beach County and started her career in speech-language pathology. At press time, she was days away from giving birth to her first child.
“After my husband and I got married, we decided that we wanted to move back to the area to be closer to our families,” Lampe explained. “There happened to be an opening at Bevis, so I went for it.”
As a bonus, Lampe’s mom, Maggie Powers, also works at the school as the front office secretary. Powers was recently selected as the school’s Instructional Support Employee of the Year after working at Bevis for 17 years, first as a kindergarten aide and then in the front office.
“It has been really nice to be able to call her when I need something or visit her every day in the front office,” said Lampe. “She has helped me feel very comfortable, being new to Bevis.”
Lampe is also still close friends with some other graduates of her Bevis class, and one of her best friends is a first grade teacher at the school.
“I have never worked at a school that has such a positive atmosphere and high morale,” said Lampe.
Colleen Bevis Elementary School is located at 5720 Osprey Ridge Dr. in Lithia and can be reached at 740-4000.