School: Florin High School
District: Elk Grove Unified School District
County: Sacramento County
Region: Northern California
Grade: High School
Award Year: 2014
When I see students walk in the door or sitting down as class begins, I see the future. I owe it to them to prepare them the very best I can for that future. It takes each new class of students about three weeks to really begin to trust me and see that I will do anything to help them learn. Without that trust, learning will not occur. — Timothy Smith
Smith has been teaching at Florin High School since 2001. Growing up on a small farm in northern Florida, he was the first in his family to graduate high school and prior to his start in teaching, he spent several years as a member of the Florida and California National Guard and pursued various jobs in the private industry.
His interest in teaching began while attending community college, where he pursued a two-week opportunity to substitute for his old fourth grade teacher. The experience was frightening, but made a lasting impression that followed him for years to come.
Fifteen years would pass by the time he decided to become a student again and complete his bachelor’s degree. This would serve as the catalyst to reignite a passion for education that he carries in to the classroom every day. He seized every opportunity to be in the classroom, spreading his passion for education, and continues to help students reach their full potential.
Don Ross, principal of Florin High School, said Smith has an “outstanding reputation as an innovative instructor. He engages his students through multiple means including the use of technology. He holds his students to a high standard of performance and he facilitates their achievement of these standards by developing and executing rigorous and well-developed lessons.”