Published by Laurie Pender on August 31, 2017
At E.E. Smith High School, students filled the gym for a Back to School Assembly to kick off the 2017 – 2018 school year. Melody Chalmers, the principal, welcomed students, staff, and visitors and reminded them of the school vision to foster a professional, collegial culture that breeds high expectations and high standards. Student Government Association President, Hannah Childress, greeted the student body with a message to live up to the high expectations of the faculty and staff and to remain focused on their education the entire year. WRAL TV News Anchor, Gilbert Baez, reported from the school to highlight the first day festivities designed to motivate and inspire the student body.
Motivational speaker, Jeff May, gave a special salute to the class of 2018 who entered the gymnasium as a class and filed into seats set up on the gym floor to resemble graduation. Mr. May encouraged them to give it their all and not let challenges defeat them.
The focus on graduating students in four years or less is important to the educators at E. E. Smith because education is the key to success to prepare students for colleges and careers. Ms. Chalmers stated, “While we can set the tone through this unique kickoff, the students ultimately have to maintain the momentum and do the work.
To provide additional support for students to achieve, 40 student club and sports leaders participated in the Dr. W.T. Brown Leadership Academy in July hosted by the school. Students who attended spent a week learning how to motivate their classmates to be successful.
Hannah Childress confirmed that the experience has better prepared her to assist her peers who may need guidance, support, or just a shoulder to cry one. The members of the Student Leadership Academy were recognized during the program and presented with a special gift as a token of appreciation for agreeing to step up as leaders in the school. Also, recognized during the assembly was John W. Smith, Jr, a retired principal who volunteers at the school on a weekly basis mentoring students and coordinating guest speakers and field trips for students in the 100 Academy, a mentoring group sponsored by the 100 Black Men of the Cape Fear Region. Mr. Smith was awarded the 1st Annual Julian Brown Volunteer of the Year Award for his unwavering commitment to the students at E. E. Smith High School.
Mr. Smith was joined on stage by Monica Crawford, a Smith graduate, science teacher, and the 2017 – 2018 Teacher of the Year. They were both honored, along with Gales Adams, Superior Court Judge, Mitch Colvin, Mayor Pro Tem, and Lt. Todd Joyce, Fayetteville Police Department as honorary team captains at the Varsity Football Game on Friday, August 25, 2017. The honorees are all community leaders who have been influential in the progress and success of E. E. Smith High School.
Community business leaders and retirees continue to rally in support of the school’s 900 students by providing human capital and financial resources to motivate students to excel in school. If you are interested in volunteering or serving as a mentor for the 2017 – 2018 school year, you can contact Community Outreach Coordinator, Julian Brown at the school.
First Day of School Kickoff Brings Renewed Excitement to E. E. Smith Students