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Jennifer Smith named Rainbow’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Jennifer Smith, who teaches kindergarten students, is the 2019 “Teacher of the Year” at Rainbow Elementary School.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Smith helps in sponsoring the Rainbow chess team that is beginning the competition circuit. “I am a nursery leader at my church, Valley Presbyterian,” she said.

Smith grew up in Decatur. “I moved to be closer to my job in 2009. I have lived in the Madison area for 10 years,” she said.

At Samford University, Smith graduated with a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education.

During her years as an educator, Smith will never forget one student who was named Sydney Cunningham. “I taught Sydney when she was in third grade. Sydney was diagnosed with leukemia during her fourth-grade year and lost her battle during her sixth-grade year,” Smith said.

“Sydney was the most positive and courageous person I will ever know. During her battle with cancer, she always had a smile on her face,” Smith said.

When Sydney’s health would allow her to attend school, she would visit Smith’s classroom and her students would read to Sydney. “Sydney loved poetry and drawing,” Smith said. “She taught me that no matter the circumstances God is in control.”

Jennifer’s husband Matt Smith works as an engineer at Redstone Arsenal. Their seven-year-old daughter Olivia is a first-grader at Rainbow.

Reading is Jennifer’s primary hobby, but she also enjoys craft projects with her Silhouette machine. She studied music to play the flute.

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