It is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I am excited to feature one of the most beautiful teachers I know! Not only does she dedicate her time to helping each of her students reach their full potential, she spends her “extra” time giving even more– from pit bull rescue to Challenger Baseball, this lady is spreading love and beauty all over the place!
Who you are: Maureen Smith
What you do: First Grade Teacher by profession, giving my time and money to great causes by choice!
Where you do it: Rockwood School District
You are a first grade teacher by day, pit bull rescuer and Challenger baseball organizer by night. Tell me a bit about what led you to where are now. What challenges have you faced along the way?
St. Louis Challenger Baseball started on the 2nd date I had with my (now husband), Buck. He talked about the league he started here in St. Louis and I was happy to come see what it was all about. After the first summer of watching from the sidelines, I jumped right in to be a coach the following summer and have been for 12 years now.
Pit Bull Rescuing came a little later, after my husband and I were married and adopted our first rescued pit bull, Sally, in 2009. We were hooked and can’t imagine our lives without her. I work locally with Even Chance Pit Bull Rescue, Stray Rescue (walking dogs when I can), the Humane Society of the United States as an Animal Rescue Volunteer. I have been deployed with them 5X to Florida and Tennessee to volunteer taking care of pit bulls who have been in dog fighting situations.
Challenges for all of these are TIME! I always wish I had more of it. Space in our home is getting to be a little more complex with Challenger and fostering puppies for Even Chance…there is always a lot of stuff.
It is National Teacher Appreciation Week. What do you want people to know about the real life of teachers?
We only want what is best for every single student in our classrooms and beyond. We are only one person and we try our best to meet every need for every child, every day.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I always wanted to perform. I know in 6th grade I had a teacher who totally understood my passion, maybe because of his own love of the stage (he had a Bluegrass band). He was always asking me and my friends to “rehearse” our latest skit, and he let us “perform” in front of the class many times that year. We even had costumes for our performances. My favorite was dressing like Pinky Tuscadero and the Pinkettes from Happy Days! I was hooked! I also babysat a lot and that probably molded my decision to “act” in front of kids.
You have “Drama Queen” signs all over your room. But you are probably the least “drama” filled person I have met. Am I missing something??
I guess now look at the answer to question #2. I LOVE being on stage and performing, either in plays or musicals or choirs. I have always been a ham, had the gift of gab (my mom is from Ireland) and find teaching the best place to perform improv on a daily basis. One day I hope to be performing in a Broadway show…
What is the best piece of advice you have heard?
My husband always says: never pass up a chance to give. He is right. We live our lives that way. That is definitely why we started Got Your Back Pack in Rockwood.
What was the worst? Do not major in musical theater in college, that is a waste! Choose Accounting.
If you could have coffee with any woman, past or present, who would it be and what one question would you ask?
Princess Diana. I would ask, “Have you always had the passion and drive to help others or did someone influence you to make that your legacy as a member of the royal family?”
What is your definition of beauty? When do you feel the most beautiful?
Doing things for others…I wish outer beauty was not so much of our daily lives, but sadly it is. I feel the most beautiful when I sing and hit the right harmony and notes.