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Meet Makenzie Smith

On Monday, January 2, 2017 the staff of Community ISD returned to work after the winter break and held convocation in the CHS Cafeteria. A very special guest speaker addressed the staff about the importance of encouragement and the impact of teachers.

Makenzie Smith is a senior at CHS. Despite facing many challenges, Makenzie is helping others Experience the BLUE through her positive attitude and motivating drive. Recently, Mack took a career interest survey, which revealed her desire to be a motivational speaker. When CISD Director of Special Programs Natosha Scott shared Mack's career aspirations with Superintendent Nivens, he insisted that she be the featured speaker for the January convocation. “We are all about not only giving our students an education, but we also want to give them experiences whenever possible,” said Dr. Nivens. “This is an experience that Makenzie and her family will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Thanks to the support of her classroom aide, Ms. Cilicia Wofford, Mack prepared the following speech and delivered it to a captivated audience of over 200 CISD staff members. 

Hello, my name is Makenzie but most everyone calls me Mack.  
What I need you to do today is close your eyes and imagine a student just any student you know.  You may not even know their circumstances but you know that something is wrong, they do not say anything about it.  They do not want to be at school but the only reason they stay is because of one teacher that makes them look forward to their day.  That one teacher who believes in them, makes a difference in their lives and who makes them feel cared for.  I know personally teachers have played a huge role in my life.
Some of you might know I am speaking about the power of a teacher, a lot of you are probably thinking "cmon another same old teacher meeting, but instead you get to hear a little girl give a speech about something she knows nothing about".  Well yeah I probably do KNOW nothing about teaching, but I Am here give you encouragement because I think you are Great!!! 
I have heard teachers being compared to a surgeon because a surgeon can fix someone's heart but a teacher can reach the heart of that person and bring out the best parts of that person.  They are just as important if not more than a lawyer or accountant because they all have an amazing skill whether it is defending someone’s rights, balancing finances or teaching the next generation.  
I remember my freshmen year my English teacher Mrs. Gena Kemp had us watch Perks of being a Wallflower and we got to the part where Charlie's teacher reached out to him and said, "You know, I heard you had a tough time last year.  But they say if you make one friend a day you're doing okay." Charlie just replied with, "Thank you, sir, but if my English teacher is the only friend I make today, that would be sorta depressing."
Well I do not know about Charlie but I disagree because Mrs. Kemp was the first friend I made that day.  She changed my life and the way I saw things, I cannot explain what a wonderful teacher she was to me and I cannot thank her enough for things she probably does not even realize she did.
Whether it is to motivate or sadly deactivate though.... students will always remember what teachers have told them, kind words, motivating words, broken promises or even disencouragement.  I promise you teachers as well as the students, the words you speak to each other today will make a bigger impact on one another's lives than you realize. 
We have a society that is so focused on fixing the past and not the here and now, please hear me out justice and quality of life are just as important as quality of education.  You see people have it set in their minds that teaching is just a job and it does not matter how you teach but that is wrong.  You have all probably heard the quote from Albert Einstein that says, “Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”  What this means is everyone has different skills, strengths, weaknesses and many things that make us all different.  For example I'm physically handicapped in case you haven't noticed lol.  We weren’t all born to conform to one standard and we shouldn’t expect everyone to learn the same way.
It seems like teachers are always getting thrown to the side and most people as well as the teachers themselves do not realize what kind of impact they have on the students lives and this future generation.  Your job is not just about lecturing your students $$$ a huge part of it is grading homework, trying to make out messy handwriting, constantly changing schedules, and then taking disrespect and handling in a professional and productive Way.  Even then your job is still not over, through all of the shenanigans (by the way that's a word I found in the thesaurus, someone once taught me when you feel like using another word just look in the thesaurus and find another even more drastic word to insult people with besides if they do not know what that word means they will be even more confused.)  Through everything you deal with though you still make sure the students feel cared for and then you go home to take  care of your own families.
Everyone I know can recall at least one if not more instances of a teacher with wise words or some kind of encouragement for them.  I know I certainly have, Cici has been the biggest encouragement I've ever had.  I know a lot of you chose this job over others knowing all you would have to handle and personally as a student that is super encouraging to hear that you chose us.  You could be going off to do bigger and better things or even teaching at a bigger school but you stayed because you care.  From a student personally I need to say thank you and I really appreciate every single one of your efforts to improve or teach me whether it was about moral obligations, general information, etc.  I also feel like I should give a shoutout to all my friends and family who have managed to support and teach me throughout the years as well.