Tate High's Jesse Smith
Tate High School
"Jesse Smith represents the impact one dedicated teacher can have not only on a student's life but also on a school as a whole. As the MTSS coordinator at Tate High School, Mr. Smith makes sure that the district initiatives are carried out, making sure these initiatives are tied to our weekly PD, evaluating their effectiveness, and making sure each of us is following through on our responsibilities with fidelity, so in the end, we can make data-informed decisions. Jesse helps us to work smarter not harder.
When he is not working to inspire his coworkers, you will find him sitting quietly helping students 1:1. Mr. Smith pulls in students who have carried an F in a class for longer than 3 weeks and they complete that work with his help. This is a huge stress reliever for students. He is there for students who missed several days of school and need extra help. He stays at school until 6:00 pm helping students with barriers that prevent them from being at school during the day. Students respond to his easy-going personality, his ability to decipher if they need a break, need to be heard, or need to be pushed academically. He has the patience to explain concepts in just the right way. Mr. Smith has helped countless students over the years recoup their credit via independent studies while providing them that human connection.
Mr. Smith is aware that our students not only need academic support but also sometimes they just need an adult in their corner to help them out. Thus, Jesse generously purchased Tate T-shirts for the PBIS store, donated his money for our barbecues and special events, and this year took a student shopping to get clothes needed for interviews. He then helped that student with the application and drove him to the interview. He even will pick up a student and get them to school, even if they only live two blocks away. I think what this student needed more than a ride was knowing that someone cared about him and actually wanted him at school. What I am trying to convey is that Mr. Smith will do what it takes to make Tate High School an effective and caring school: PD, paperwork, report writing, providing rides, or buying shirts. He will do what it takes so students feel they are part of the school.
Mr. Smith is such a wonderful role model to both staff and students, he is a fun coworker to be around and the epitome of a professional who comes to work each day with one question on his mind to base all his decisions and actions: “What’s best for the students?“ The result of him asking this question each day makes him the most effective and dedicated teacher supporting every student that needs his help.
Thank you Mr. Smith for being our taskmaster, for keeping our vision and mission at Tate at the forefront of all we do. Thank you for developing strong relationships with students that keep them engaged and connected to school and ultimately earning their diplomas."