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Posted 21 May 2001   For week ended May 18, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 17May01

By Rosemary Pollock

LDS Elementary School Principle Honored in Arizona Republic

CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA -- Black Mountain Elementary School principal, Lewis Smith, will resign, effective July 1. His 25 years of pioneer support and leadership as a school administrator have taken the overall student population at Black Mountain from 340 students, 15 years ago to 5,000 students today. In a letter to the parents, Smith explained while he will be leaving, but not retiring. "Retirement is not in my vocabulary, nor will it be in my actions," Smith said.

He and his wife, Jean hope to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With a son graduating this year and embarking on his own mission in February, and another son graduating in two years, the Smiths want to make themselves readily available. "Family comes first," said the white-haired Smith. The Smiths are the parents of four adult children and eight grandchildren, two of which have immediate medical needs for which the Smiths want to make themselves readily available.

Lewis Smith has been a fixture on the campus of Black Mountain and is often seen standing out in front of the school at the final bell. He sees the school administration as an extension of home. "We've got the students for a good part of the day, enough time to influence them in some positive way," Smith said.

"I've always wanted to be a school principal," Smith said. "I like helping them (students) along life's road." Smith and his wife will be comfortable in their new roll as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will no doubt employ the same qualities of teaching that allowed him to successfully lead at the helm of public schools for a quarter of a century.

When children were sent to the principal's office, a child was likely to sit across from Smith and listen intently. No one can think of a time when he actually raised his voice beyond a low rumble.


Principal leaving laudable legacy
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 12May01 P2
By June Thomson Sparks


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