Albany teacher deployed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany teacher deployed

March 10, 2003

Albany -- Students and faculty at Alice Coachman Elementary School tearfully said goodbye to one of their teachers Monday. His Army reserve unit has been activated. The Albany science and math teacher leaves Tuesday for deployment.

Fifth grade science and math teacher Kono Smith had the day dedicated to him at Alice Coachman Elementary. Smith's unit has been activated by the Army National Guard. Sergeant Smith is a computer analyst with the 461st Battalion, a logistical support unit from Decatur.

The fifth grade class sang him a song in tribute. The kindergarten teachers dressed in uniform to say God Speed.

Smith has been a teacher for seven years. He was also deployed during Desert Storm, and says that experience helps now. Smith said "Even if I have to pay the ultimate sacrifice, I am a soldier, trained to be take care of that. We go there to get the job done and return home."

 School Assistant Principal Gail Gibson said "Mr. Smith has his own class, but he feels every student in this school is his student. And he will not accept any failure."

A yellow ribbon was tied to a tree in front of the school, and will remain there until Kono Smith returns to his students.

Kono Smith is the teacher of the year at Alice Coachman Elementary. He is married, with 3 children.

posted at 6:22PM by jimw@walb.com