New CCSD teacher has special connection to school

New CCSD teacher has special connection to school

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Over the course of nine months, teachers have the ability to make a big impact on their students’ lives. Sue Smith, one of Faiss Middle School’s newest teachers, knows exactly how precious every one of those moments can be. 

Smith and Faiss Middle School Principal Roger West have a bond that started outside of the classroom.

Four years ago, on March 25, 2019, Principal West spoke to Ms. Smith for the first time after the unfortunate passing of her son. That afternoon, Smith’s son Jonny was walking home from school when he was hit and killed by a car.

“Jonny was one of those sweet boys that just brought sunshine everywhere,” Smith said. “He just wanted to be everybody’s friend. He hated it when people were sad.” 

Although the loss of her youngest child has been difficult, the tragedy led Ms. Smith on a new journey that would take her back to the school her son attended. 

“When Jonny passed away I became very good friends with Mr. West,” Smith said.“So when I told him I was going back to school he was very excited and offered me a lot of support.” 

Four and half years later after their first conversation, Principal West welcomed Ms. Smith into her new classroom as the Literature elective teacher.  

“It’s one of those Hallmark moments in your career that you just don’t forget, you know, I won’t ever forget that phone call and I hope I don’t ever forget walking int that first class and seeing her with our students,” said West. 

She now gets to spread her love for literature with other students through books such as the classic “Alice In Wonderland”. 

While teaching literature to Faiss Middle School students, Ms. Smith plans  to continue as an advocate for road safety. She often does public speaking and does interviews with to bring awareness to this matter. 

That work has already led to the installation of a signal light at the intersection of Fort Apache Road and Arby Avenue where her son Johnny was hit.