Benton Academy honors teacher for 40 years of service on anniversary
By JAMIE PATTERSON
A person doesn’t have to have a dominating presence to make an impact on someone’s life.
Many times it’s a quiet, humble person that leaves the most lasting impression.
To her former students and colleagues, teacher Betty Ann Smith is that type of person.
“Mrs. Smith is an outstanding, great teacher,” said Cindy Shipp, high school principal at Benton Academy. “She really has made such a great impact on a lot of lives.”
Smith was honored during halftime at the Benton Academy’s homecoming game Friday night. The dedicated educator has been teaching students at the local academy for the past four decades.
“She has literally been here since the doors first opened,” Shipp said.
Smith said she had no idea that she would be publically acknowledged for her years of service to hundreds of children. In fact, she has rarely attended a football game since her children graduated from high school.
“We used to go to games, but after the kids got out, we didn’t come as much,” Smith said. “I wasn’t expecting this.”
The shy, soft-spoken lady quietly sat in the stands as the announcer began to praise the efforts of one special teacher.
“After a minute I thought to myself, ‘oh my gosh, they are talking about me,’” Smith said, with a laugh. “That is when the tears started coming.”
Rising up to accept a rose, Smith was crying tears of joy. And those around her, many former students, stood to applaud her.
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