Looking back on Washington’s past

Published 4:13 pm Monday, December 18, 2017


During our youth, it seemed like the most revered people in our small town were teachers and coaches. One teacher that was loved and respected was Mr. Carl Smith!

Mr. Smith always put the needs and interest of his students first. He never demanded our respect — he earned it. He just knew how to work with young people and get the most from them. This was apparent from the first day we sat in his classroom. He was always willing to help those of us more-academically challenged, if we were to stay after school to learn. We worked because he had a way of making us work for him.

Mr. Smith never sacrificed his values and beliefs. He was not a person who would turn his head to a wrong done by a student. It was used as a teachable moment. He never showed favoritism to any student who did not want to work. It did not matter who you were or your economic status. Mr. Smith always felt like everyone deserved an opportunity to learn.

His passion for education and his students was obvious as he made our class in history fun. He taught us history, but we learned far more than that. We learned lessons in life that have carried over for many of us today. His influence in my life is one of the reasons I chose education as an occupation for 31 years. Mr. Smith had a way, and we all loved him.

There were times, though! Being called “up front” was something none of us wanted, but many of us got. And he was right to do so. Today, it would be frowned upon but many of us learned the difference in right and wrong by being called up front. I was one!

He provided a role model that we needed, as we were in our formative years. We were too young at that time to know it, but 50 years later we are thankful that Mr. Carl Smith was in our life. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for being there for all of us and many more over the years. Your example and role model are appreciated by those you touched. We all love you!

Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.