FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — From shaping the vision of academic student success to cultivating leadership in others, principals do a lot, but one principal, in particular, does it all.
Meet Federa Smith, who always knew her destiny was to become an educator.
"My parents both were teachers. When you're surrounded by educators, it just kinda is a piece of you. I saw how satisfied they felt, so that's what motivated me."
With more than 36 years of working in education in Marion and 12 years here in Allen County, Smith likes to think of her career as successful.
However, she never expected to retire during a pandemic.
Despite strict stay-at-home orders, friends and family still wanted to make her retirement as special as she made others feel.
"It just amazed me that people wanted to come out and do that,” Smith said. “That just totally overwhelmed me, I haven’t seen them”
As the cars kept coming, loud honking and bells rang down Smith’s street to show their appreciation of the principal that cared the most.
"I think being able to reach out and touch them, knowing that you may not be able to get that back but you've planted that seed and at some point, it's going to come back," Smith said.
The seeds that were planted did come back, and they left Smith a little surprise, too.
"I've had people drop food off on my porch and things like that, that you would never think to do in your busy life," Smith explained.
With the world stopping for a moment, Smith sends this message, "appreciate the small stuff."
The small stuff that Federa Smith did for others made a big difference in their life.
When we show up in someone else's life we begin to realize that it could become a ripple effect of support, hope and even love.
If you know someone who has made a profound impact in the northeast Indiana or northwest Ohio community, we would love to hear their story.
Visit our Unsung Heroe's page to nominate your hero today.