Former teachers recall Ryan Lewis as self-starter, hardworking

SEATTLE -- Seattle's Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made a triumphant homecoming this week with three sold-out concerts at KeyArena, but long before they were selling out shows they were using their creative talents in the classroom.

"I'm just so proud of how he's done and how he's doing," said Cecelia Otto who taught Lewis's photography class at Roosevelt High School. "It's so exciting for me to see his success and that he's worked so hard to get where he is."

Otto describes Lewis as a self-starter who was always passionate about photography.

"He was always really nice and really polite and a hard worker and I think you can see that in what he's doing today," said Otto.

Ryan Lewis graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2006.

"I see him as sort of a long-haired kid who was sort of quiet," recalled Lewis's former Math teacher Judson Miller. "He (had) that sort of scruffy goatee he was working on and now he has his pretty fashionable glasses. He's clean cut. It's really unique to see the difference," said Miller.

Miller said he first learned about Lewis's success about three years ago after he heard the rap duo on the radio. Miller said Lewis, a DJ and producer, was always passionate about music and computers.

"Ryan was pretty savvy on the computer," said Miller who is now using his former student's accomplishments to show current students how computers can impact your life.

"Here's a student who is world famous now for what he's done with a computer. Specifically, in the music industry. That's a really neat thing to be able to show my students," said Miller.

Macklemore spent his freshman year at Garfield High School then transferred to Nathan Hale. He finished his junior and senior years at Running Start, according to a Garfield High School teacher.