Lisa Smith, Photography/Technology/Yearbook Teacher and school photographer|

Dear Hollywood Schoolhouse |

I arrived at this school, as a parent, in 1994 with my two-year-old, Dylan and newborn, Lyndon, in tow. 

Debbie Wehbe gave me the tour. The school was adorable and charming. It had a small town, ‘all are welcome’ feel to it. It was perfect. I somehow knew, deep within me, and instantly, that we would be happy here.

Our founder Ruth Pease was still there, she would sometimes come out on that balcony over, what is now, the front office and wave at the students. The pool, where my sons would learn to swim, was just being built.

My kids’ teachers were Ms. Stacy, Ms. Ceci, Ms. Ilise, Ms. Barb, Mr. Narbé, Ms. Jessica, Mr. Robby, Ms. Vianne, Mr. Braden, and Mr. Ray. Lizzie, Madeleine and Tina were there, too.

While my children thrived, making life-long friends and discovering their strengths, I did, too. It has been 26 years and I am still learning and growing here.

As the school was going through physical changes and meaningful growth, I was putting myself through post graduate classes in photography, art, graphic design, typography, and technology. I used everything I was learning and contributed to the school. I produced every class art project for the “Silent Auction’ [that’s what we called it back then]. I became the chair of the auctions, I redesigned the annual report, I guest taught photography class. I thrived.

In 2009 I was hired to teach photography and produce the yearbook. I absolutely love my ever-expanding job at this school. My brain is challenged, my creativity is encouraged, and the students make it purposeful.

I am sure that Hollywood Schoolhouse will be a part of my family for decades to come. My future daughter-in-law, Ms. Elizabeth [2nd Grade teacher assistant and fiancé to my son Dylan] has found her purposeful path here as well. My son Lyndon has found himself back at his homebase and using his entertainment and teaching skills in the JK Sea Turtles class.

I am excited to think that within a few years my grandchildren will come to this wonderful school. I am proud to think that my family might become part of HSH lore.

In writing this I cannot forget the wonderful souls who passed through this community and have now passed on. Teachers, students and simply superb people that I have had the good fortune to have known; Mr. Tony, Cedric, Mr. Ben, Mr. Brian, Marieke, Ruby and Hart.

Ms. Lisa