This year, Melissa Smith joined the Hingham school community as the new Assistant Principal for both Plymouth River and East Elementary Schools. She splits her time equally between both schools, and has spent the fall getting to know the faculty, the parents, and the people who are the favorite part of her job – the kids.
Here are a few questions that some students at PRS wanted to ask Mrs. Smith:
Why did you become an Assistant Principal?
MS: After many years of being in the classroom, I knew I wanted to make an even bigger difference, and being a principal lets me do that.
Did you always want to be a teacher?
MS: Yes. When I was little I used to make my mom play school with me (I was an only child). I’d be the teacher and she’d be my student.
What is your favorite part of the job?
MS: The kids! I love getting to know them, especially outside the classroom. I like to take my lunch into the cafeteria and join a table and just talk with everybody.
Do you have any children?
MS: Yes, two sons. Michael is 10 and in 5th grade, Ryan is 8 and in 3rd grade.
Do you have any hobbies?
MS: Photography. I like taking pictures of kids – my own, my friends and family – and landscapes. It’s relaxing for me and I get great joy out of it. I was excited to share my love of photography at PRS this fall. I’d been taking pictures of students around school and I made a slideshow that I showed the kids at lunch. They loved seeing themselves on the big screen!
What’s your favorite book?
MS:Charlotte’s Web. My favorite author when I was a young girl was Judy Blume.
What’s your favorite movie?
MS:I love comedies. Nothing scary.
What’s your favorite food?
MS: Pizza! I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. And, just cheese, no toppings. (I should probably have said broccoli, but I wanted to tell the truth!)
What’s your favorite season?
MS: Summer! I’m a beach person. And summer lets us have great family time to do things like go camping and enjoy our pool.
What’s your favorite sport/team?
MS:My favorite sport is football, so my favorite team is the Patriots, of course! My sons love baseball, and we’re Red Sox fans, so I’ve spent more time at Fenway than at Gillette.
What’s your dream vacation?
MS: I actually just had it! My family was so lucky to be able to spend two weeks in Hawaii last winter. We got to see humpback whales and dolphins in the water outside our hotel, and we did as much as we could fit in, since we’d waited so long for the trip and it will be a long time before we’ll be able to go back. We rode a zipline, took a volcano tour, went snorkeling, rode horses on the beach and up a mountain, and more.
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
MS: Maybe a veterinarian. I have a great love for animals and always wanted to work with and help them. But I’m not sure about the medical side – I’m not so good with blood!
What’s your favorite song or music?
MS: I love anything, if it makes me smile!
Who is your hero?
MS: My 91-year-old grandfather, Harlan Jeffrey. He was a marine based at the Hingham Ammunition Depot before World War II. He fought at Iwo Jima, one of the biggest battles of that war. He grew up in Hingham, but lived elsewhere for a long time. Recently, he came back to Hingham and now lives at Linden Ponds. I’m so proud of everything he’s done, and so fortunate that my sons get to spend so much time with their great-grandfather, something not everyone is able to do.