Town celebrates ‘Cherry Smith Day’
By Kristen SwingCherry Smith couldn’t hold back her tears as Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe read a proclamation honoring the longtime music teacher for her dedication to the youth of Washington County.
“This lady before you, who was my music teacher at Jonesborough Elementary School in 1975, is retiring after 43 years of teaching,” Wolfe said as he stood with Smith at the May meeting of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “It’s her passion for music and love of kids that has kept her going strong for 43 years.”
Smith began teaching in Washington County in 1969. Throughout her career she has taught at various schools including Sulphur Springs, Gray, Austin Springs, University School and finally at Jonesborough Elementary where she has served as the music director for decades.
“She has positively impacted the learning experience and academic achievement of thousands of students through her involvement in the arts,” said Wolfe, who is not only a former student of Smith’s, but also her nephew.
In addition to her work within the county school system, Smith has directed the Celebration Show Choir for 20 years, developing the artistic talents of scores of young people who have entertained at churches, nursing homes, and venues such as Dollywood and Disney World.
Smith has also served as music director at a number of area churches through the years, including Asbury United Methodist, Jonesborough First Baptist and Jonesborough Presbyterian Church, where she currently serves.
Last week, Wolfe presented Smith with the proclamation honoring her years of service. She also received a key to the town as Wolfe deemed her an “honorary citizen” of Tennessee’s oldest town. Wolfe also declared May 15 to be “Cherry Smith Day” in Jonesborough.
“I urge all residents to stop and thank Cherry Smith for her years of dedicated service in the schools. I urge them to stop and thank her for touching so many lives for so many years,” Wolfe said. “We hope she will work with Jonesborough to open up new doors and new challenges, and continue to enrich the lives of young people.”