A Blast from the Past

The+Smith+Reunion+in+2017.+Photo+courtesy+of+Jan+Pelias

The Smith Reunion in 2017. Photo courtesy of Jan Pelias

Madison Phung, Editor

Smith Elementary is hosting a Senior Reunion for the Class of 2021 on May 17 at 8 a.m., where students will take a group photo in their graduation gowns. 

Each year, Smith Librarian Mrs. Pelias organizes the reunion, which gives former students a chance to meet with their old classmates and former teachers. 

“I work with high school calendars and the Smith calendar to pick a special date for the reunion each year. Mrs. Elledge works hard to help me organize the reunion and create signs congratulating the seniors. We set up “graffiti boards” for students to write their favorite Smith memories on and also share their favorite classes or programs at Smith. And of course, there is always something for the seniors’ tummies,” Pelias said. 

The Smith Reunion always held a special significance to Pelias, not only because of her role in running the event but also because it updates her on the lives of former students. 

“My favorite part of this senior reunion is seeing how much our former students have grown and hearing the great things they are planning for their futures!  It’s also fun to see former Smith teachers join us again after retiring or staying home with their own families”, Pelias said. 

This annual event dates back to 2010, when Smith became the first elementary school in Frisco ISD to host a senior reunion. Since then, it has become one of the most beloved traditions at Smith. 

“With social media being a big help, we get the word out to students, former staff members, and parents when the reunion will take place,” Pelias said. “This is one of my favorite traditions that we have.”

For seniors, the tradition reminds them of where their education started, lets them see how much they’ve changed, and gives them time to think about the memories they’ve had before they go off to college. 

“I can’t wait to see some of my old teachers again which reminds me of all the great memories I had made at Smith. I am also excited to see all of my old classmates that I have lost contact with and reminisce about the past,” Senior Mya Sutherland said. 

Another unique tradition Smith has is the ‘Letter to Future Self’, where seniors receive a letter that they’ve written to themselves from fifth grade. 

“At the end of each year, fifth grade teachers have students write a letter to their future selves.  When the letters are finished, the teachers rubber band them together and send them to the library to be locked up in a “time capsule” until it’s time for those students to graduate from high school,” Pelias said. “Students always enjoy reading their 5th grade letters at the Smith reunion.  Last year during the COVID stay-at-home time, Smith mailed out the letters to students at home for them to enjoy.”

Senior Kisana Ngwenya is excited to receive the letter she wrote to herself in fifth grade so she can reflect on how much she’s grown since then. 

“I think that my fifth grade letter will say ‘I hope that you have become a successful person’ and that ‘you’re going out and following your dreams’ and ‘you are just living your best life’”, Ngwenya said. 

With graduation around the corner, seniors know that Smith built a strong set of values in them that will help them as they head out into the real world. 

“Smith Elementary has impacted me in a positive way by establishing my foundation of a great education and allowing me to be able to succeed going into middle school and high school, and really taking those fundamentals and using them in life,” Ngwenya said. “Another way Smith has impacted me in a positive way is that I was able to meet so many of my best friends that I still have to this day, and we have been on many adventures together. It has allowed me to establish great relationships with people.”