by Amy Haggerty
When students see Kevin Smith in the hallways at Stockbridge High School, they may feel tempted to say “Go Blue” before uttering “hello.”
Smith, an extreme University of Michigan fan, always dresses in maize and blue, and he attends all the home football games in Ann Arbor.
A custodian for Stockbridge Schools for the past 17 years, Smith came to the high school after Bob Myers retired several years back. He took right over and has become a key part of the success in maintaining the day-to-day operations at the high school.
“Kevin takes pride in our schools and works hard to meet and exceed expectations,” Principal Jeff Trapp said.
Smith held several different jobs before coming to Stockbridge. In addition to working in the printing field, he had an interest in construction, worked at several ice rinks, in lawn care and landscaping. He always tried to learn as many skills as possible at each job.
“I was taught to better myself to the next place or job that you move on to,” he said.
Smith’s father, Russell Arthur Smith, taught him “respect, (to) work hard for your goals and always trust in your abilities. He always said, ‘hard work will pay off,’” Smith remembers.
Smith hopes to work in maintenance some day for the school district. Until then, he loves his job and takes pride in his hard work.
While attending Annapolis High School in Dearborn Heights, Mich., Smith grew up with a love for sports and played baseball and hockey. Hockey was his favorite sport and fast became his passion.
During his four years in high school, he became interested in offset printing and took many classes. After graduating, he attended the vocational school, William D. Ford Technical Center. There, he earned a certificate in offset printing.
But Smith feels his greatest accomplishment in life comes from being a father and husband.
He has two daughters, Jena, 20, and Hannah, 16. Erin Myers, his wife of 18 years, hails from Stockbridge. Smith adopted Erin’s daughter, Jena, when she was young.
Smith said he fell in love with being a dad to Jena while dating Erin. Without hesitation, he became her father.
Family and respect are very important to Smith. He grew up without a mother in his life, but said his grandmother became an important role model and was like a mother to him.
He tries to teach young children that “no one is out to get you. They are trying to make you a better student or young adult.” He emphasizes that, “They are trying to help you become whatever you want to be in life.”
Even when times are hard, he tells students, “Life is beautiful. Pick up your head and take a look around.”