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McAlester’s Laurie Smith – Teacher Spotlight – Presented by First National Bank of McAlester

Graduating and earning her undergraduate degree from New Mexico Southern Nazarene University, Laurie Smith currently teaches English at McAlester High School all while simultaneously earning her master’s degree in educational leadership. This is Laurie’s 21st year in teaching and she has taught a wide range of subjects including world history, government, computer science, and just about every level of English class there is. 

“My favorite thing about teaching is watching students grow,” said Laurie. “I always try to emphasize to them that we will keep the world yet in mind when we approach anything in the classroom. I also remind them that the word yet also applies outside of the classroom as well. There is absolutely nothing better than watching a student accomplish something that they didn’t think they could.”

Teaching is something that got passed down from mother to daughter in Laurie’s case. 

“My mother was the best educator who ever lived,” said Laurie. “She was a teacher that students both respected and admired. She is the standard to which I judge myself, and if I leave a legacy half as impressive as hers, I will consider that a success.”

Laurie is just as dedicated out of the classroom. She is the head volleyball coach for the high school. A large portion of her summers are spent working with her volleyball girls for summer pride and taking them to summer league games and camps. 

In her free time Laurie enjoys spending time with her husband of 11 years and their seven children. 

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