“Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.”
There was also a favorite high school math teacher who helped Lucy develop a love of numbers and the college English professor who took an interest in her talents. Experiencing the positive influence an educator can have on a young child’s life inspired Lucy to consider a profession involving young people. “I wanted to have that kind of impact,” she says. Speak to members of the Episcopal community and there is no question that she has.
“Lucy has been a great leader and is very well respected, not only in the Middle School division, but also by everyone here on campus,” says Administrative Assistant Dana Heuvel. “Working with Lucy these past 24 years has been great! Lucy is a very caring, understanding, compassionate, dedicated, patient and humble person. These are a few of the many qualities that make people feel so comfortable talking with her and asking her advice. She is wise beyond her years.”
As Lucy looks back on her time at Episcopal, she says she never planned on being an administrator and she credits a series of opportunities with shaping her career trajectory. She looks at these opportunities, and even the challenges along the way, as part of God’s work in her life.
Lucy’s own family and the Episcopal community are forever connected. Both of her sons, Field ’00 and Carter ’05, are Episcopal graduates. Like most parents, Lucy and Bob spent their fair share of time on campus supporting their sons at choir performances, honors programs and school plays. Both Smith boys were active in school life and successful academically. Field played tennis and wowed audiences on the stage as a student thespian; Carter loved football, and his vocals stood out as a member of the select choir. Looking back at photos of the family together, you immediately feel the joy and pride felt by Lucy and Bob. Lucy counts having her sons attend Episcopal while she worked on campus as one of those gifts from God. She says she was fortunate to continue that joy when Carter joined her on campus as the Episcopal Choir Director. “It was a blessing to work with my son,” says Lucy of the experience. Lucy is proud of the men that Field and Carter have become. Field, a gastroenterologist, has three children, Hayden, Linus and Maeve. In another Episcopal twist, Field’s wife, Erin (Hayden), is also an Episcopal graduate. Carter, who served as Episcopal’s Choir Director for five years, moved on to Michigan State this past fall in pursuit of a doctorate in musical arts.
Lucy’s family extends to students, faculty and staff. While students may not remember every detail of every Middle School lesson, they will certainly remember how Lucy made them feel.
“Mrs. Smith is an amazing role model to all of us here at Episcopal,” says seventh grade Class Vice President, John Luke Boagni. “She is kind, sweet, and a very great leader. She works very hard on all of our activities and to make sure the Episcopal Middle School is the best it can be.”
“Mrs. Smith is very impartial and respectful of all students,” says eighth grade Class President Carter McLean. “She is a very kind person and serves as a great leader for Middle School. I also like how Mrs. Smith recognizes and supports extracurriculars.”
As an administrator, Lucy leads by example. Middle School Counselor Alicia Kelly says Lucy never asks anyone to do anything she would not do herself. “Lucy has been the rock for our Middle School,” says Alicia. “She’s always dependable, reliable, compassionate and supportive. I respect her dedication and commitment.” Just one example of Lucy’s servant leadership is duty assignments. When there was an extra time slot to fill, Lucy simply assigned herself twice. In addition to her role as administrator, Lucy also has an advisory group and has always taught sixth grade religion as a way to get to know each student who enters Middle School.
“Empathy and good listening skills are extremely valuable for administrators, especially this age,” says Lucy. To encourage students to become more empathetic, Lucy and her team implemented a Middle School focus on social/emotional learning. Peer Leaders are empowered to recognize the kindness of their classmates, teachers are trained to support students who are struggling and even grade-level trips are opportunities for personal growth. All of this reflects Lucy’s own strength and skill in extending compassion and comfort to others.
In addition to her interpersonal strengths, Lucy also has a remarkable ability to be consistent and flexible. Over the course of her 26 years as Middle School Division Head, the world has certainly transformed. Students are now bringing iPads to class. There are social pressures 24 hours a day. Even with these new challenges and the demands of managing an entire division, Lucy remains steadfast in her focus on student development. Lucy’s ability to connect with others and bring out the best in them, will serve her well as she looks to the transformation ahead in her own life.
Connection. Community. Family. Faith. These are all important components of Lucy’s life. Lucy steps away from her role at Episcopal with hope for more time to volunteer, spend time with family and pursue passions including writing and traveling. There is also a sense of hesitation as she makes such a tremendous adjustment. For so long, she has dedicated her life to serving students and the Episcopal community. Along the way, she has influenced the lives of generations. That influence will continue to resonate and inspire for years to come.
Has Lucy had a positive impact on your life? Leave her a message below in the comment section.