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First Christian Academy welcomes new director
School changing its focus to younger ages
FCA director
Barb Smith, the new director of First Christian Academy in Richmond Hill, chats with students on Friday about their friendship bracelets they made recently. - photo by Crissie Elric

First Christian Academy in Richmond Hill has welcomed a new face to the director/principal position at the school inside First Baptist Church of Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill resident Barb Smith took the reins as director/principal in early January after having worked as a first-grade teacher at the school before.

Smith said she is excited about her newest opportunity.

“(Think about) your job right now, is it something you dread going to work every day, or is it something you love to do? And every day in that classroom, I never had a day where I was like ‘oh, I’ve got to go to work today,’” she said. “I’ve had jobs where that was the way I felt … then getting here was like coming home. You just love to come in the building every day. The teachers are amazing, both the preschool and elementary age.”

Smith said she was encouraged by her church family to apply for the job.

“I’d been a preschool director before and I love the administration part,” she said. “This is a Christian ministry, and I love the opportunity to share what I feel that God has given me a gift in teaching and to share that gift with other people.”

Smith, who holds a degree in education ministry from St. Louis Christian College, has more than 20 years of experience working with children. She has worked in many sectors of education, ranging from teaching kindergarten to working as a paraeducator.

“I also spent five years as a preschool director while we were in Germany — my husband is in the military,” she said.

Though Smith is officially the director the school, she won’t be going at it alone. She will work until May alongside Buffy Gregory, who recently stepped down from the position due to her husband being transferred to Hawaii for military duties.

“We are very excited, and I know (Barb) will do a great job,” Gregory said. “She loves the Lord and she loves people, so we have no doubt it will be an easy transition for the families and children.”

Read more in the Feb. 2 edition of the News.

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