Farewell to Mrs Smith, FMJH Band Director

Good afternoon everyone,
Below is a message from Mrs. Smith at Forest Meadow JH.  We look forward to celebrating her with all of you as soon as we are able to in person! We will miss her very much.  If you’d like to reach out to her personally, her email address is: amanda.smith@risd.org

Feel free to pass this along to any alumni who were fortunate enough to have Mrs. Smith as one of their teachers.
Thank you,
Mr. Chavis

My Lake Highlands family, 

As I sit down to write this letter to you, the amazing people who have shaped me over the last 9 years, I want you to know how humbled and honored I am to have been able to spend so much time in this amazing community. 

I am writing to let you know that my husband has been offered an opportunity to start a new career. Family is a huge part of who I am and I have been away from mine for a long time now. This summer, my family will berelocating to south Texas to be closer to my family and facilitate my husband’s new job. This means that I will be leaving the Lake Highlands and Forest Meadow family that has been such a huge part of my life for the last 9 years. While I am excited to be nearer to my family, I am heartbroken to leave my band family here. I truly cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate and love all of you so much.

When I was a new first year teacher at Lake Highlands, many of the band parents there took me in and guided me along the way. The staff was always so supportive and team LH will always have a place in my heart. The kids here are hands down the best. The students I have had the privilege of teaching during my time here are hardworking, talented, caring, intelligent humans who I am better for knowing and being around. I have seen so many of you go from 6-12 grade. I’ve seen you get married and even have kids of your own. The mark that this place has left on my heart is bigger than anything I can explain and will never be replaced.

When I found out we would not be returning to school this year, my heart broke even more. The thought of not being able to hug and love on all of you is devastating to me but I want a chance to sit and speak with and see anyone who would like to. I am working on setting up times that we can have private zoom calls, or perhaps some social distance visits in the park. I promise that I will make time for each and every one of you as long as it takes. You are my people and the most important things to me. 

I know that Mr. Chavis, Mrs. Burt, and Mr. Bradford will work to find the absolute best person to continue on our Forest Meadow legacy that you all have been so monumental in building. Our band is a family and I know that whoever comes in is lucky to be joining and working with such an amazing community of students, families, and staff.

Know that you will all always hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to seeing and hearing your future performances and seeing you all continue to grow and amaze us with all your truly unique talents and big hearts. I love you all so much. 

Sincerely, 

Mrs. Smith, or to some of you, Ms. J