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The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

Kara Smith bids farewell to her home in the Nest

Kara+Smith+bids+farewell+to+her+home+in+the+Nest
Renee Bella

U.S. History teacher Kara Smith shocked the entire school on Friday, October 20, when she announced that day would be her last at Cape High. After being a Seahawk for nine years, Smith is starting a new chapter in her career as a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) teacher. 

After being on maternity leave for the first semester of the 2022-23 school year, Smith decided she wanted to be closer to her family. However, it was only October 16 of this year when she found out she had the job. 

“It’s been a long time in the running and it was never an easy choice to make,” stated Smith. 

Getting a job as a virtual school teacher is a difficult, tedious process, according to Smith. However, she believes teaching at home will be worth it if it allows more time with her daughter.

Teaching FLVS, Smith will be doing live lessons as well as online tutoring. While part of the job is to check in with online students and their parents, Smith feels the biggest downside is losing the connection she has with students. 

“I’ve been here for so long, and I’ve wanted to do this job since I was 12,” said Smith, “In seventh and eighth grade is when I decided and I never changed my mind, so this is a big life change.”

Smith taught APUSH [Advanced Placement United States History] and U.S. History, and was widely known for her passion for history and its many puns.

“Mrs. Smith turned every lesson into an enjoyable class as she pitched in her own personality into her teaching and always dedicated time for her students,” stated senior Lauren Binghak. 

Students enjoyed not only Smith’s teaching, but also her joyous personality that would light up the classroom. “I think she brought joy to her classes, she’s a wonderful person to be around,” stated senior Marta Teygid. 

Teygid also described Smith to be very inclusive in classroom discussions and interactive lessons. 

She would also help out IB students with their EE [Extended Essay] as a supervisor for history. Many seniors had their last EE meeting with Smith just days before her last day. 

“I’m really going to miss her, to be honest. She was one of my favorite teachers last year and she helped me a lot with my EE,” stated senior Veronica Varona. 

Renee Powella, in her first year at Cape High, will be taking over some of Smith’s classes, including her APUSH classes. While Powella doesn’t have experience in AP courses, she has taught gifted classes at Gulf Middle School. With this experience, she also has a previous bond with some of her students that she’s had in both middle and high school.

“When I was a new student in her middle school class at Gulf Middle, she was super welcoming and made sure I fit in right in with her students,” stated junior Sabrina Dong, “she was patient and caught me up.”

Coming from 17 years of middle school teaching, Powella wanted to teach AP in a few years, in order to get used to highschool first. While her plan got fast tracked, Powella quickly went through the AP training and received APUSH teaching resources and lessons from Smith. 

“It’s been fun in the hallway talking and stuff and she’s got a lot of good little stories and interesting facts,” said Powella “I think it’ll be different without her.”

“She [Powella] taught gifted for a long time and she has a great reputation from middle school,” stated Smith. “That’s making it much much easier in terms of a decision because that’s one of the best people or best case scenarios for me to leave.”

According to Smith, she’ll most miss the random conversations she’s had with coworkers and the subtle eavesdropping on the weird things students say in her classes. 

Once her daughter is older, Smith may reconsider coming back to teach at a physical school. “Until she’s in school, [it will] just be nice to be able to stay home with her,” said Smith.

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