Christy Smith has been a beloved part of the BRE community for 20 years and will be missed when she retires in May.
Article and photo by Celeste McNeil
Christy Smith has been greeting students, staff and families at Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) for 20 years. As registrar, she meets new families, gives tours of the school, knows every child and most of the parents and regularly visiting grandparents. Smith is passionate about making each individual child more important than whatever clerical task is on her schedule.
Loving and supporting students has been at the heart of Smith’s life for over three decades. She volunteered four days a week in her own children’s classrooms at Rock Ridge Elementary (RRE) school in Castle Rock. After several years of constant volunteer work, Smith was persuaded to take a paid position as an educational assistant. Eventually she transitioned to the front office, where she stayed. After 11 years at RRE, Smith came to BRE.
Smith and her high school sweetheart, both Colorado natives, married young. They moved their small family to Castle Pines in May 1987 when there was little here. “There were really just a few cul-de-sacs – just a handful of houses,” Smith remembered. She has watched the community grow and blossom, witnessing the building of schools and businesses. She has seen a generation of children progress through elementary school and beyond.
Smith’s days at BRE are filled with a near steady stream of children saying hello or goodbye. She is ready with a hug for her students or to help teachers and staff. Smith relishes the interaction with her young friends.
“I love this job. It’s different every day. It’s all about the kids – hugs from them. All my little pumpkins, are the best, the absolute best!”
Smith is continually amazed by the strength and quality of the BRE community. Often described as a family, Smith has felt the strength and support from the community as they rallied around her when her parents died a few years ago. She has seen it manifested for other staff and students’ families over the years as well.
“This community is amazing and generous with their time, money and support … the staff is phenomenal – the most unbelievably gifted teaching staff – that’s what makes BRE so special,” said Smith.
In 31 years working in the Douglas County School District, and serving under 18 principals (eight at BRE), Christy has had various roles and opportunities. She has participated in many hiring committees and represented BRE at the annual district Apple Awards ceremony multiple times. Despite her love of BRE, Smith knows it’s time to focus her attention on her family. She will be retiring at the end of this school year. “Walking away from BRE will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” said Smith.