Home! Early morning on the 3rd floor last school year.
Welcome to Mr. Grady Smith's webpage!
Please click on any of the pages in the banner above to find out important information about my Koinonia or my 7th and 8th Grade classes. The NCAIS page contains a presentation I gave to other teachers about current events. The Dig It page is about last year's WOW Week and will be updated later this year. The 7th Grade Trip page describes last year's 7th grade to Virginia.
This begins my eighth year teaching at Trinity and I have been teaching eighteen years overall, primarily in Charlotte area. My wife and I have lived near Freedom Park for over twenty years and have two children, Clay and William. My son will be in 7th grade this year at Trinity and my daughter will be in 12th grade at Myers Park.
Please give me a call or send me an email if you have any comments, questions or ideas. My home number is 704-525-2483 and my mobile number is 704-651-6353. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures and Thoughts from the 2013-14 School Year
Every Monday the entire school gathers in the courtyard for Greet The Week. We sing, have announcements and conduct a short chapel service. It is a great way to start the week. This is not the best picture, but it does convey how the crowd looks and how group participation is an important part of GTW. Although it looks like we are facing east into the rising sun, we are actually facing north west. Some parents also attend GTW and they are out-of-sight behind the tree in the top right.
Pictures and Thoughts from the 2012-13 School Year
In keeping with the tradition of the piece of turkey shaped like Africa, here is a picture of a tree stump that looks like the United States...a little bit! My son William noticed it on our recent trip to Bald Head Island, which is off the coast of North Carolina near Southport.
After the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the President ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in remembrance. As I was leaving school, I paused to snap a photo of Trinity's flag at half-mast with the moon in the background. Just as Columbine and Virginia Tech are tragic touch-stones in our nation's history, so will be Sandy Hook.
The BIG map of Asia visited TES for two weeks in December and was a BIG hit (at least, it was a big hit for me!). We decided to hang it up for Friday's chapel on the last week and it looked great cascading down from the track. As you can see, it was so big that part of it came out onto the floor. The hardest part about hanging was just trying to figure out which way to roll the map so that once it was tied down and flipped over the railing it would be right-side up. In full disclosure, I had to do it twice to get it right. I have ordered the BIG map of Europe for next year!
Kirk, Juan, Nuvia and Eric (pictured here) of FLIK keep us all well fed in Trinity's Dining Hall. Sometimes the dishes pile up a little high, but the food is always good and hot. My personal favorite is Breakfast for Lunch and I think the student's favorite is pizza. I know of one parent who always checks the school menu and comes in when salmon is being served. He says it is the best deal (and salmon) in town! Like all schools, we are grateful for the wonderful folks in the Dining Hall.
Students called me over to their dining hall table the other day to show me a piece of turkey that looked like the continent of Africa. So, against the backdrop of the classic dining hall table, I used by phone to capture this magical geographical occurrence (note Madagascar). Here at Trinity we try to teach Geography however we can!
On my way home, I stopped at the Circle K for a drink and I snapped this picture of the news-stand. There were four different national newspapers all with a similar picture from the second Obama-Romney debate. There is nothing like a close Presidential election to get students excited about politics and American History.
Our annual Blessing of the Pets ceremony got me thinking about Trinity pets that have always been around but may not ever get blessed. This is my seventh year teaching at Trinity and there has always been fish tank in the front lobby near the elevator. Morning, noon and night I have passed that tank and admired the colored tropical fish. I wonder if any of those fish have been there for six years? They seem fairly content and I truly do not know who feeds them or cleans their tank. I need to remind Father Jacob to stop by and give them a quick blessing if for no other reason than they brighten my day and are part of God's creation.
For the Blessing of the Pets at Trinity, students and their pets (and families) gather on the front field for a short chapel service. Then the school chaplains head to the corners of the field and the pets are blessed one by one. It is an amazing and chaotic sight to behold. There are dogs, cats, bunnies, mice, gerbils, lizards, turtles and fish as well as stuffed animals and pictures of pets who just couldn't make it that morning. I snapped this photo from the windows of my room which overlook the front field as well as the skyline of Charlotte.
As Jennifer left my room the other day, I couldn't help but notice her heavy backpack. Then I noticed that her backpack had a backpack! "It's my lunch box" she said...but it still looked pretty heavy to me. What ever happened to carrying around your books in the crook of your arm or fastened together with an old leather belt. Am I romanticizing the "old days'?
Of course, as I raised my cell phone to get a picture of the double backpack, an instant crowd emerged to be in the shot. Some things never change!
Beauty and art and just simple neat things happen all the time at Trinity. Shelby, a 6th grader, called me over to see a pencil shaving and I just thought it made a neat picture. Come to think of it, the pencil is a pretty neat thing also.
Cisco is our school dog and he belongs to Ms. Rankey, the art teacher. He likes to come into my room and sit on the couch and dig through the trash.
Our first two school dogs belonged to Mrs. Tate, the school's Dean of Student Life. There was Tie, who died tragically after having a litter of puppies. We had a school wide memorial that was amazing. You can click HERE to see a video and song about dogs that was played at Tie's service. Next came Patience and she was just like her name. When Mrs. Tate retired in the Spring of 2012, Patience went with her.
But Cisco arrived in the Fall of 2012 and has slowly been getting the run of the entire school. He is still a puppy, but you can already tell he will be special. My family is lucky to have one of Cisco's sisters. Her name is Luna and maybe she will come to TES to visit one of these days.
The rain came so suddenly the other day that there was no time to lower the school's two flags. Mr. Jenkins saved them later when the weather cleared and draped them in the east stairwell to dry. I snapped this picture because those two flags represent something very special to me: the United States of America with all its geographical majesty and wonderfully complicated history and the Episcopal Church whose religious and educational tenets guide Trinity Episcopal School.
The third floor has change a little since I took the picture above...but it is still home sweet home! Two offices have been added on each end of the Dickson Upper Commons. The sunlight still comes streaming through in the morning.