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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • National FEA films documentary at Smyrna High School

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  • The Smyrna High School Future Educators Association has been making a name for itself not only on a statewide level but nationally. Smyrna is doing so well that the National FEA was in town last week filming a documentary to showcase the SHS chapter.
    FEA is a program to help inspire secondary students to become teachers.
    Adviser Michael Shaner said it’s an honor and an opportunity to have the documentary shot at the school. He believes Smyrna does so well with FEA because the district invests back into the students and for the most part grows their own teachers.
    “It’s exciting for the students and the school to showcase all the wonderful things Smyrna High School does and to show the people really what Smyrna has to offer,” Shaner said.
    The documentary became a possibility after National FEA Executive Director Dan Brown visited the school in December. He had attended the state conference in December at Delaware State University and asked the Department of Education for a recommendation on which school chapter he should shadow; he was told to visit Smyrna High School.
    Brown came to the school, watched the FEA classes, saw the student’s intern at the elementary schools, and met with Principal Stacy Cook.
    “That experience really stuck with me as an inspiring one,” Brown said. “It’s important in that it shows what FEA is capable of when you have excellent people leading. It’s a great program with a lot of support.”
    The National FEA has over 10,000 members. With roughly 250,000 new teachers entering the workforce each year, Brown hopes spotlighting Smyrna High School will inspire new programs elsewhere in the country. He plans to premiere the documentary at the national conference in April.
    The visit from Brown came after the Smyrna High FEA dominated at the state FEA conference. Out of the 19 possible Smyrna contestants, 17 placed. Smyrna took home 15 awards, including eight for first place or for gold. Moreover, students Mallory Matusevich and Alexandra Vance were selected to the state executive council. Principal Cook was also named the State FEA Administrator of the Year.
    Adding to the good news this year is the fact that five SHS students were selected by the National FEA to be a part of this year’s National FEA Honor Society – Taylor Capella, Mallory Matusevich, Paige McNatt, Alexandra Vance, and Breanna Wharton.
    Brown was in town Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 filming the documentary. In the process he interviewed students, guidance counselors, Shaner, Cook, Superintendent Debbie Wicks and teachers. Filming was done in the classroom as well as of students in elementary classrooms.
    Page 2 of 2 - Superintendent Debbie Wicks is thrilled the National FEA has chosen to highlight the local FEA chapter.
    “It’s an honor for us to be highlighted for the hard work of the Smyrna High School administrators, teachers, and particularly the adviser of FEA,” Wicks said. “In Smyrna we always grow our own. We welcome back our students as teachers and this helps boost our staff. Our students get jobs as teachers and stay in the district.”

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