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Smith busy brightening the days for LC-M Class of 2020

By Van Wade

LITTLE CYPRESS – It’s been an uplifting time for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville senior class of 2020 in the last week or so, thinks to a great group of administrators and teachers that have been determined to brighten what remains of their senior year.

A couple weeks ago, each and every LC-M senior received a sign in their yard that read “We Love Our Seniors, LC-M Class of 2020”.

This week, the 2020 honor graduates were surprised at their homes Wednesday with their graduation stoles and cords by LC-M High School Principal Ryan DuBose, Student Activities Director Stacey Smith as they had plenty of help along with them.

On Thursday night, seniors had a chance, along with their families, to have pictures by the scoreboard at Battlin’ Bear Stadium. Of course, practicing social distancing during all of the process.

Smith has definitely kept herself busy in all of the projects as have so many others.

“I so enjoy putting smiles on all of our kids’ faces, it really brightens each and every day throughout all of this, especially with all the changes everyone has had to deal with,” said Smith. “None of us are seeking personal gratification for this. The gratification of seeing other people happy and to bring a few minutes of joy to them is what it is all about.”

The “Honor Graduate Express” as Smith likes to call it, was so much fun and a surprise as well.

“We really gave no warning to any of the kids or parents,” said Smith. “That’s what made it even more exciting.”

Everyone started to catch on pretty quickly.

“We were posting each visit on social media and everyone started to get wind of it,” said Smith. “We were starting to get larger crowds as we went along, of course there was social distancing involved. What was exciting was being able to see some of the grandparents there and how their faces lit up.”

Several of the kids were emotional as well.

“We saw a wide range of emotions for sure,” said Smith. “We care so much for this senior group. Just think, a lot of them were born around the time of 9/11 and now we’re dealing with the coronavirus. It’s a tough time for them and we want to make them feel special at this time, because they are all special.”

The team not only went to homes, they also greeted the students where they worked at Chick-Fil-A, Market Basket and Water Tree.

The Senior signs idea was a good one as well.

“I’m able to work with leadership groups not only in the district, but leadership groups across the state and everyone is always brainstorming and coming up with great ideas,” said Smith. “We’re always sharing ideas and taking something from someone else. That’s where the sign idea came from and we then modified them our own way.”

It was a busy but productive and satisfying outcome for everyone involved,” said Smith. “We wanted to make sure every senior had a sign and that was took care of. So many people deserve so much credit for that entire project. So many teachers were involved. Several of our teachers are single teachers that live alone and they were so happy to be able get out and help with the project. The best thing though, were the big smiles on those senior faces. Those are moments you never forget.”

Smith’s newest adventure is her vehicle being the Balfour mobile distribution center for LC-M students.

Most students had their caps and gowns before they left school, but there were about 25 that had not ordered for one reason or another. On Thursday, all of the diploma frames were delivered to Smith’s house since there is no one at school to accept daily deliveries. Other graduation items and letter jackets will also be sent to Smith’s home.

“Now I just have all of the remaining Balfour things in my car and I will do curbside from my garage as students contact me for things,” said Smith. “Or if I happen to be out and about I can do some home deliveries like today when I dropped off a cap gown and UIL recognition cord to a student.”

Smith loves her job and loves all of the kids in the district.

“It doesn’t matter to me where the kids come from, no matter what their socioeconomic status is, whether or not they play sports or if they are in the band, or if they are honor students or if they are in a popular group or not, I care deeply for each and every one of them like they are mine,” said Smith. “I was blessed to have the greatest teacher ever, Mrs. Linda Warner. She is a great, great lady and a legend around here.”

The top 23 of the “Honor Grad Express” from No. 23 to No 1 are Colton McIlwain, Robert Simpson, Carly Cogar, Shelby Smith, Hunter Perkins, Ashley Boze, Noah Bonnette, Mason Sterling, BryAnna Lewis, Darby Watson, Julian Oceguera, Jackson Smith, Brice Sylestine, Collin Freed, Chrisleigh Longlois, Avery Holland, Payton Smith, Zoe Levens, Matthew Lopez, Nicki Qi, Caitlin Woods, Salutatorian Jenna McCorvy and Valedictorian Elizabeth Johns.