Smith's application was the first one received by member Marilyn Martin, who was quite surprised by the timeliness.
This told them one thing, Smith was "organized and on the ball," said Martin during the introduction.
Smith stated in her application, she wanted to make a difference in the life of a child by being a special-needs teacher. During her speech at the meeting Tuesday, Smith talked about the teacher who inspired her to choose education as a career -- Katie Lewandowski.
Lewandowski is a retired second-grade teacher and previously taught at Bainbridge Elementary. Smith had an internship in Lewandowski's second-grade classroom her senior year at North Putnam High School.
It wasn't until later when Smith realized her passion for working with special needs students.
She currently resides in Terre Haute while attending Indiana State University, where she is a sophomore. She is dual majoring in elementary education with special education.
Next semester, Smith will be studying abroad in Ormskirk, England. One day, she hopes to be back in Putnam County teaching. Smith is the daughter of Jim and Brenda Sage Smith of Roachdale.
The Putnam County Retired Teachers Association is an affiliation of Indiana Retired Teachers Association. The 42-member group meets the second Monday of September, October, November, March, April and May.
Members do not need to have taught only in Indiana. Retired teachers from any state are welcome to join.