Fayetteville Elementary principal Nancy Smith set to retire July 1

Nancy Smith is retiring on July 1 after 25 years as principal of Fayetteville Elementary.

Nancy Smith is retiring on July 1 after 25 years as principal of Fayetteville Elementary. Submitted photo

— “I’d suggest doing your own research first, and that you talk to other travelers. I would suggest maybe buddying-up with someone who enjoys it, or a very good friend so you can plan and share experiences.”

You plan to retire July 1. Talk to me about why you got into the profession of shaping young minds.

“I was a speech therapist, not a classroom teacher. I have had a will to work with kids, parents and other educators. I was drawn to the speech pathology field because I enjoyed the developmental aspect and working with children.”

Did you work with kids needing to develop or just in general?

“The whole spectrum. I worked for Department of Mental Hygiene. All of my clients had developmental disabilities, children and adults. From there, I made the move to public schools.”

Did you grow up in CNY?

“I did not. New Hampshire, and got my bachelor’s from the University of New Hampshire. Then I moved to the Southern Tier, then to the Syracuse area after a few years.”

Are you fully fulfilled with your career? Is there anything you want to accomplish before leaving?

“There’s an awful lot I’d like to do. Very fulfilled and very challenged. I love what I do. I love the folks with whom I work — our staff members as well as our parent community. I think change is good and I enjoy challenges.”

What kind of interests do you have in your free time? What’s a perfect Saturday afternoon in the summer like for you?

“I am active. Biking, running, swimming, cross country skiing. But there’s never enough time to do as much as you like. I enjoy hiking as well. I enjoy, especially in nice weather, being outdoors. I also enjoy travel, cooking and the arts.”

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