Dedication Ceremony at Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School Honors Past Educators
On September 13, Pembroke Township residents and community leaders gathered at Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School in Hopkins Park to dedicate portions of the building in honor of former educators dating back more than five decades.
A wing of the school known as the District Administration Center was dedicated to Dr. Billy J. Mitchell, the district’s longest-serving superintendent of Pembroke Community Consolidated School District #259, with 33 years of service. Current Superintendent Dr. Nicole Terrell-Smith shared that Dr. Mitchell was a visionary who wanted better opportunities for the community at large. The library was named after a former teacher and librarian, Ms. Barbara Salery, an educator who dedicated her time and personal resources to the students, district and the community. Both educators are now deceased.
The Outdoor Recreation Center now bears the name of the township’s most senior resident, former teacher and principal, Ms. Lucille Hayes, who is 101 years old. The school’s S.A.F.E. Center (Student and Family Engagement Center), a partnership with community organizations to bridge available and needed resources to students and their families, removing barriers for Pembroke Township residents, was dedicated to Dr. Marcus T. Alexander, the district’s most recent superintendent who stepped down earlier this year.
“The honorees of this dedication ceremony are admirable examples of the commitment to the academic success of the students as seen throughout the community,” said Dr. Terrell-Smith. “I am grateful to be a part of this legacy and to have been passed the torch to continue to carry the vision forward. As the adage goes, “Once a Mustang, always a Mustang!”