“As a Mom, I am there ready to be a comfort and a resource for any and all students who just need that extra attention. “
This week’s feature: Sharae Smith
Principal Secretary, MC2 Stem High School
We’ve interviewed some of the freshest educators we know. They operate from a place love, care, discipline and personal sacrifice on behalf of Cleveland's precious students. Let these stories honor ALL Cleveland teacher who do this important work every day!
What got you interested in becoming a school secretary?
Well, it was never my intention to become a school secretary, even though my grandmother (now deceased) and mother are both retired CMSD secretaries. Growing up, I always volunteered at my mother's previous schools and knew that I wanted to work with and around children. I was always personable and was able to connect with the community very well. Eventually, I ended up becoming a secretary which allows me to focus more on my own children and still work with other students.
What might we catch you doing when you aren’t in the classroom?
You can always find me enjoying time with family and friends rather its board games, nature walks, movie times, fishing, road trips or just relaxing.
Why does high quality education in Cleveland matter?
High quality education in Cleveland matters because it provides a gateway for students to be successful in life. High quality education can lead to progress in higher test scores, likelihood of students meeting graduation requirements and higher chances of receiving scholarships.
What is the most challenging thing about your work?
The most challenging thing about work is the lack of attention and/or food children receive from home. It's heart breaking when children come to school just to receive some type of nutrition or attention because they’re lacking it at home. As a Mom, I am there ready to be a comfort and a resource for any and all students who just need that extra attention.
Tell us about a time that you knew that you made a difference in a young person’s life.
There was this senior who called me "Ma" ever since his 9th grade year who started to develop truancy because of his lack of attendance in school. One of his classmates called me and informed that this student was not attending school because he was working full time hours when he should have been in school. Apparently, this young man felt that working to make money was more important than receiving his high school diploma. Granted this young man was trying to be a blessing to his family and assist with providing for their household, I knew having his high school diploma will be an even bigger blessing to him and his family seeing he would have been the first young male in his family to receive his high school diploma. I made a few calls to locate his place of his employment, contacted our counselor and made sure this young man work schedule was changed and his mind back on track to be the first male to graduate. This young man complied and received his high school diploma on his scheduled graduation date.
Tell us about a time your life was changed/impacted by a student or because of a student.
My life changed when I realized how much of an inspiration I am to our students. I never knew how much of an impact I could be to a student. Each individual I have come in contact with has shown me something different. I take in some of our students’ different personalities, attitudes, creativeness, and swag which helps me to raise my own children. Without my students, I would not be able to keep up with the latest trend. LOL
What would be your message to your peers?
This world is yours. Take advantage of what you have and own it! The sky has no limits for you!!