Ms. Tracye Smith, Social Worker at Indian Creek Elementary and Caring for Kids School Liaison, passed away unexpectedly shortly before school started this year. Known for always having a smile and a positive word to share, Ms. Smith was named Center School District’s Support Staff Person of the Year last spring, and all who knew her were impressed by her positive attitude and dedication to meet student and family needs.

Dr. Angela Price, Indian Creek’s Principal, shared some of Ms. Smith’s amazing attributes that helped her achieve that recognition: “She offered counsel, support, had crucial conversations with care as needed, assisted with coordinating and facilitating the social emotional weekly calls to parents, worked to combat chronic absenteeism with the school attendance team, and worked collaboratively with partners to provide Thanksgiving meal baskets and gifts during the holiday season.”

“I will miss Tracye this year at our annual Thanksgiving basket distribution,” said Meganne Leighton, Community and Global Partnerships Director at Colonial Presbyterian Church. “She was such a joy to work with all year long, but during the Thanksgiving meal distributions I got to see her interact with the families. She knew each person’s story and struggle and always had a hug and an encouraging word for them. She had such a heart to serve and lived out her faith in her work by showing love and compassion to the families and students in the Center School District. I’m thankful I got to know her and work alongside her.”

Mark Potter, Associate Pastor at Colonial, said, “Every year the Center School District asks several community members to vote on the Teacher and Support Staffer of the Year based on nominations from the principals. They try their best to keep it anonymous, but right when I read Tracye’s profile I knew it had to be her. I voted for her not only because I knew her, but because she was amazing at her job. I have seen her go above and beyond for her students, even bringing her own kids with her to serve Indian Creek families on her day off.”

He added, “Wherever Tracye went, she was a bright light and full of compassion. She was professional, personable, and empathetic. You could tell that she loved her job because of how much she loved her students. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy lives on.”