In 2015, the Mariemont City School District launched the Marie Huenefeld Friend of the School award to recognize individuals in the community who make significant contributions to the school district with their time, service and/or expertise to create a better experience for students.
At the May Board of Education meeting, Jack Smith was officially recognized as the 2019 recipient of the Friend of the School award.
“The Friend of the School award is an annual recognition of someone who goes above and beyond for our district, our schools and our students” said Mariemont City Schools superintendent Steven Estepp. “While there are many people in our community who fit this description, Jack Smith is the epitome someone who will do anything to better our district and is incredibly deserving of this award.”
Perhaps Jack’s most noticeable contribution has been through the Kiwanis Club of Mariemont where he serves as the Youth Services Team Leader and has spearheaded initiatives such as the Community Service Award, Memorial Day Essay Contest, Schools Recognition Month and the annual Scholarship program.
Through his efforts, Kiwanis has granted over $200,000 in college scholarships to Mariemont High School graduates based on need, academic achievement, leadership and service. But his involvement doesn’t end with the check presentation, Jack keeps in contact with all scholarship winners, routinely checking in on their wellbeing and academic progress throughout their college careers. Jack is a friend for life as many Mariemont High School alumni can attest to.
Aside from Kiwanis, Jack has spent over 15 years working with the Winners Walk Tall program at Terrace Park Elementary School. As a coach, he spends weekly sessions with the school’s third grade students, teaching them the importance of character building traits, manners, and leadership skills. He takes the knowledge, skills and professional prowess he amassed in this lifetime and passes them on to the next generation. In Jack’s mind, no student is too young to learn these valuable life lessons.
He and his family also endowed the Damon Troy Smith Scholarship which sends a student at the high school to the Global Leadership Summit each year.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, Jack also finds time to serve on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council and participated in many different committees leading up to last year’s levy and the Mariemont High School facility project.
While he participates in many activities and never misses a student performance, game or important district meeting, Jack’s biggest contribution to Mariemont City Schools is without a doubt his commitment to our students. Jack is an advocate for each and every student that walks the halls of our schools, no matter their neighborhood or their grade level or their academic performance or their socioeconomic background. Every student is special in Jack’s eyes.
The award was created in honor and recognition of retired Board of Education member Marie Huenefeld who received the inaugural Friend of the School award. Huenefeld was first elected to the board in November of 1987 and served through 2015. Other recipients of the Friend of the School award include Rusty Wilson in 2016, Don Gurney in 2017 and Chandra Buswell in 2018.