Jonah Armstrong

Mrs. Smith reading a book with her class.

Smith will remain part of the Taft High community

Christy Smith has worked here at TUHS for a year as the Moderate to Severe Special Education Teacher, with a 17-year long teaching career, having taught in Japan and Italy. Being hired as a sub at Taft High first, but was then offered the position as a Special Education Teacher to which she gladly accepted. Though Smith’s time here at Taft High has been short, her dedication to her students and their families have made a great impact on their lives. With her focus being always on what the students are capable of and helping them improve upon both their physical and academic skills. Now only having to step down from her position, Smith will not be resigning but merely taking a step back as to complete her CSET test for the math and science portion.

Smith said she has no plans on finding another position somewhere else and will return to subbing. Smith was asked what she would miss about TUHS, saying “My students; I love my students. I have not stopped crying since I found out. It’s going to break my heart. That’s the most difficult part. These guys are different and it’s a whole different world; you get to know everything about them…and every little thing they do they have to work so hard for, so everything is a triumph…and they don’t let their disabilities stop them. They do it in spite of it.”

Smith was asked what her most memorable moment here at Taft High was, saying it was two of her own children coming and speaking to the class in Spanish with them reiterating to Smith on how much the students appreciated what she does for them. Smith saying, “That was probably the biggest impact on me…the fact that not only do I care for them but, in their own way, they care for me too.”  Smith was then inquired about some of the things she had done for her students, other staff members, and the school in general that the community may not know about, to which she replied, “I think just individualizing everything for the kids themselves. Getting them to come out their box and finding a way of making feel that they’re the ones that thought of that idea. They want to succeed and giving them that type of access and opening the door for them that has never been there before.”

Smith was then asked how her students have affected her, “These kids up here are amazing, for instance, one of my students saw someone trying to get gas out of my car and he literally closed my gas tank, called his mom, called me, and let me know that my car had been almost vandalized and the student just did so on his own integrity. It’s this sense of we know everybody, we’re looking out for everybody, ‘it’s not a me it’s a we community’ and that’s something you don’t find in many places.” Smith was asked how she viewed the current state of Taft High, to which she replied, “Obviously I’m not happy about leaving; you know my heart broke. But I feel like even though they’re going to go through some changes, this campus will be strong enough and the staff is going to be strong enough to support the students and bounce back from this…and you have time when you reap and you have a time when you sow.”

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