Congratulating Macy Smith, “Teacher of the Year” at Journey Middle School, are her family members: Lyndon Lovelace, front from left, and Florence Weatherly. Harold Smith, back from left, Eria Williams, Macy Smith, Jared Smith, Harold Smith II, Ashley Lovelace, Macy Lovelace and Jarvis Lovelace. CONTRIBUTED

Journey selects Macy Smith as ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – In her classroom, Macy Smith observes the Golden Rule by treating students with kindness, empathy and respect . . . the same treatment she wants. Smith is “Teacher of the Year” at Journey Middle School.

In 2003, Smith first taught kindergartners with Madison County Schools for seven years and then with second-graders for 7.5 years. In 2017, “I took a leap of faith by accepting a temporary position (which changed to permanent) as school counselor at Heritage Elementary School,” Smith said.

In 2021-2023, Smith transitioned to Liberty Middle School to continue development of counseling skills with that age group. “The experience that I gained at both Heritage and Liberty proved invaluable when I was selected (for the) opening team at Journey Middle School,” she said.

“I was excited to bring my passion for school counseling to a new group of students,” Smith said.

While at Heritage, Smith sponsored the Patriotic Troop, the televised “Morning Show” and facilitated during implementation of Leader in Me. While at Liberty, she was a member of the Accreditation Team.

“My philosophy of teaching is that every student deserves a nurturing and inclusive space at school (to) thrive, grow and flourish,” Smith said. “I believe by providing a supportive environment, I can help empower students to achieve academic excellence, develop essential social-emotional skills and help discover their unique potential.”

As a counselor, building trust and creating a welcoming environment is crucial for fostering a positive and supportive atmosphere, she said. “To achieve this, I strive to create a safe and non-judgmental space where students feel comfortable and valued.”

“Students can develop a sense of trust and confidence in me, allowing them to open up and share their concerns and feelings freely.”

“This approach not only helps students feel more at ease but also enables me to provide more effective guidance and support,” Smith said.

During her inaugural year at Journey, Smith experienced resounding success in building strong relationships with her students. “Learning alongside new students has been a true joy for me,” she said.

She grew up in Ballplay, a charming community near Gadsden. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Athens State University. At University of West Alabama, she received master’s and education specialist degrees in school counseling.

“I’m proud to celebrate 34 years of marriage to my wonderful husband, Harold Smith,” Macy said. Harold, a Test/Fabrication Engineer at Jacobs, designs and implements innovative solutions.

Their daughter attended Sparkman High School and the University of North Alabama. Their sons, Harold J. Smith II and Jared Smith, attended Westminster Christian Academy. Harold continued at Shelton State Community College; Jared enrolled at Troy University.

“A little-known fact . . . I had the unique experience of attending boarding school at Darlington School in Rome, Ga. This time at Darlington School not only shaped my educational journey but also left a lasting impact on my life,” Macy said.

“My favorite hobby is creating lifelong memories with my family and friends,” Macy said. “There’s no better joy than sharing laughter, adventures and quiet moments with people who bring me the most happiness.”

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