School: Whitwell Elementary School
School District: Marion County Schools
City, State: Whitwell, Tennessee
About the Nominee: David Smith is the most loving and nurturing educators one could ever meet. He is the only male teacher at Whitwell Elementary School, and he serves as a positive "father figure" for over 500 students. Mr. Smith loves his students as if they were his own children. He always refers to them as his babies. He spends his own money to buy shoes, clothes, food, and school supplies for his students. Mr. Smith has helped students for more than 20 years, and they all love him dearly. He coached football for years and started the Whitwell Middle School "Paper Clip" Project. The project is known around the world for its lessons of tolerance and respect. He speaks at schools, churches and events worldwide. Mr. Smith does not charge anything for his time, but does it because he loves educating others.
Every day, he deals with challenges with a smile. He loves his faculty and truly treats them as family. Mr. Smith has faced some health struggles over the past couple of years, but he still went to school every day. Even though there were many days where he didn't feel good, he wore a smile and made it through the day. He always said that "his babies needed to see him," and that his school was his "Happy Place." Mr. Smith does whatever he can to promote a safe learning atmosphere at Whitwell Elementary and will do whatever he needs to do to make his students smile. He is an avid reader and really pushes his students to read. Mr. Smith has sacrificed a lot for all of his students and has never asked for anything in return. He is humble and kind! He has positively touched, not only the people of the Whitwell community, but people from around the globe. He is known by many and loved by everyone.