Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity alumnus Randy Smith has been named the Veterans of Foreign Wars Louisiana High School Teacher of the Year.
On Saturday, January 19, the Bolton High School educator was recognized at a statewide conference of veterans after initially being nominated by Post 1736 in Alexandria.
Teaching ninth grade Civics and AP Government and Politics, Smith as committed himself to teaching his students about Americanism and patriotism. Among the many examples of his dedication, he cooks for a tailgate on Friday nights for neighborhood kids and sponsors the Freshman Academy, which tracks students’ progress and provides interventions to stay on the path to graduation. Smith also sponsors the Youth Volunteer Corps, which motivates at-risk children to become involved in the community through service projects. He also finds time to work with the Bolton soccer team as a goalie coach.
Smith will now be considered for the Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, which was launched in 1999. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach at least half of the school day in a classroom environment and promote America’s history, traditions and citizenship education effectively.
National recipients are selected from entries submitted to local VFW Posts in every state and overseas.
Candidates are judged on several criteria documented in an application: encouraging good citizenship and community involvement; using innovation to stimulate students; utilizing new and exceptional resources to fund, facilitate and provide materials for the classroom; and displaying passion about the profession of teaching.
“Receiving this award is a very humbling,” Smith said. “This award has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the people around me. From my family, to my friends, to what I learned at NSU, all the way to lessons and values I picked up as a student member of Pi Kappa Phi. I’m just thankful for the spotlight to shine just as much on Pi Kapp and NSU’s College of Education as I am about myself.”
Smith graduated from Northwestern State University in 2007 and taught at Pineville Junior High School prior to joining the faculty at Bolton in 2018. He initiated into the Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in 2004 and has been an active alumnus, mentoring student members as an advisor and serving roles in the Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter.