(Orange, Texas)

Our Schools

May 25, 2013

So long, Mr. Smith

PINEHURST — A man who has helped shape the minds of children in the community for more than three decades has decided to retire.

Benny Smith, the beloved principal of West Orange-Stark Elementary School, announced his plans to retire earlier this spring after working 33 years in the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District. On Thursday, the majority of the faculty of the elementary school, along with other district employees, representatives, family, friends and community leaders, turned out to show their love and respect for the man.

“Thursday was really an exciting day at the school,” Smith said. “When I ran through the halls, the kids were waving at me and hollering at me. My heart was filled with joy. The hugs and the high-fives were amazing. That’s a huge paycheck for me, right there.”

Smith has worked for the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District his entire 33-year career. He has worked at several campuses within the district and in several capacities, including teacher, assistant principal, director of career and technology and the past nine years as principal at Anderson Elementary and West Orange-Stark Elementary.

Children have always been the best part of the job, according to Smith. He said it is also the hardest part of retiring.

“It’s simple. K-I-D-S. Kids. I love them,” he explained. “I try to take the raw product and make into something usable because each child has that potential.

“I’ve been here long enough where I have taught the parent and have taught their child. In fact, I’ve been doing this long enough to possibly be educating the third generation of children in some families.”

Theresa Beauchamp, a retired educator who worked with Smith many years and a City of Orange councilperson, praised Smith highly for his dedication and service to the district and its students.

“When you use the word gentleman, Benny is the personification,” she said. “He is a friend to all.”

Smith is a very active individual. Along with his duties as an educator and administrator, for many years he has also been the announcer at during Mustangs football and basketball games, plus track meets. He is also an active member of Salem United Methodist Church.

Despite his pending retirement once school ends, Smith is unlikely to rest on his laurels for any length of time.

“I might take it easy for a little bit, but that won’t last long,” he said with a laugh. “I might take a trip or two, but I’m not a vacationing type of person. I like to stay busy and I’m sure that is what I will do.”

Text Only
Our Schools
  • BCISD to hold community meeting Thursday

    The Bridge City Independent School District wants to hear from its citizens at a special meeting this Thursday evening.

    July 30, 2014

  • Instructor recognized LSC-O instructor receives international recognition

    An instructor at LSC-O has receive international recognition for her work as an instructor in information technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Trustee Welcome to the Board

    Nathaniel Colbert, standing at left, was officially sworn in earlier this week as the newest member of the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Land speaks to Kiwanis Kiwanis Club gets schooled on LSC-O’s EMS program

    Rickey Land believes there’s no reason why every person shouldn’t know CPR.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Officers Announced VHS Interact Club installs new officers

    The Vidor High School Interact officers for the 2014-2015 school year are, from second at left to right: President Taylor Frazier, Vice President Tiffany Charleston, Secretary Madison Marino and Treasurer Mallory Gray. They are pictured with Rotary Assistant District Governor Bobby Simon of Nederland. Interact is a Rotary affiliate.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dance Team Triumphs LCJH drill team secures awards at Galveston contest

    The Little Cypress Junior High Golden Dazzler Dance Team attended American Dance/Drill Team camp in Galveston, Texas from June 24 to June 26.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • KVLU radio adds new programming

     Lamar University public radio 91.3 KVLU has announced the acquisition of two programs new to the station’s Saturday afternoon schedule.

    July 5, 2014

  • Laura Daleo Daleo, McNeil receive Catholic Daughters of America scholarships

    Two local high school students have been selected as recipients of an annual scholarship award from a local organization.

    June 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • LSC-O to resume ACE program

    Due to the demand for highly qualified teachers who have received face-to-face instruction by highly experienced master teachers, the Alternative Certification for Educators Program, the ACE program, at Lamar State College–Orange will restart in fall 2014 on a limited basis.

    June 20, 2014

  • Intrigued by Robotics.JPG Intrigued by robotics, student heads to Austin

    Marissa Gray, student at Community Christian School and a FIRST Robotics FRC 5287 team member was accepted to First Bytes at UT in Austin.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide