S: Celebrating 40 years: Anna Smink
FC: Celebrating 40 years | Anna Smink
1: A beloved teacher, advisor and friend, Mrs. Anna Smink has been a fixture at Holton for 40 years, stimulating a love of reading in hundreds of Holton girls. Over the years, her passion for books and students has been evident in everything she does, whether teaching Philosophy, advising for Scribbler or holding students’ hands while they learned to research for the 10th grade term paper. | As a testament to the lives she has touched, this book is a compilation of memories, anecdotes and well wishes from the Holton community. Congratulations on 40 years of dedicated teaching and passion for Holton students.
3: "Mrs. Smink always conveys her passion for books and reading, and she has a knack for finding the perfect material to stimulate a lifetime love of reading in Holton girls." | Traci Meakem Richmond '88
4: "Her wisdom and advice I will take with me to college and in the rest of my life."
5: "I don't know what my Senior year would have been like if I never took Mrs. Smink's class! Mrs. Smink is such an amazing person, one of the warmest and most loving people I know. There was never a dull moment in class, and I always left having learned something new about myself and the world I live in. And I will forever have a love for her cooking! Love you Mrs. Smink, thank you for everything!!" Danielle Barnard '11
6: Celebrating 40 years at Holton-Arms School
8: “You, Ms. Smink, are one of those teachers a student never forgets. Your class on philosophy changed my life. I learned what it means to have disciplined thought. Bertrand Russell’s "History of Western Philosophy," "The Apology," "Irrational Man," etc. are all books I would never have read on my own, but you cast them indelibly on my brain. They sit tattered on my bookshelf today. My children’s high school asked what one class parents might like to see added to the curriculum. I was unequivocal, “Philosophy!” But alas, few high schools have someone as competent in the subject as you. I was fortunate. Thank you," Leslie Ruda Carr ‘77
9: (By the way, my shelves are arranged numerically by the first two digits of the Dewey Decimal System. Did I take your introduction to the Holton Library too far? )
10: " Mrs. Smink was one of my favorite teachers at Holton!"
11: "She intuitively knew how to build up her students (long before it was in vogue), giving them not only good analytical skills, but also inner confidence. She had an excellent command of her material and was warm, friendly and fair. Wishing her many more successful years!" Elizabeth Mason Breger '87
12: Anna superlatives: "Always (but especially when there really is a glimmer of white stuff in the weather forecast—she hates to expend the energy in vain): The best snow dance ever imagined and the best chant in the most authentic Polish ever heard at Holton Always (Lisa Craig in bio class is her only competition): Anna can talk faster than anyone else at Holton (and actually make sense!) One time: Anna got the worst case of poison ivy ever contracted on a senior retreat (Mine was a fairly close second—in my opinion—I never went to the doctor—and we weren't even at the same location. Yolanda must pay!)" Judy Mahanes Faculty member 1973 to 2011
13: "When she first came to Holton: she wore the shortest skirts Jim Lewis had ever seen."
14: "I was one of the lucky six to have Mrs. Smink as a teacher this year. She is not only a great teacher, but also a great person. A library guru, Mrs. Smink is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is the type of person who will drop everything just to help you track down books for your term paper. As a teacher, Mrs. Smink brought her enthusiasm to Philosophy class each day. Her genuine love for philosophy always made class enjoyable and thought-provoking. She is one of those teachers one will never forget." Thank you, Maryann Akinboyewa '11
15: " Words simply cannot describe how wonderful Mrs. Smink truly is."
17: "I clearly remember as a middle-schooler asking her for a fun reading suggestion that was different from the typical girly stuff. She asked me what some of my favorite books had been, and I told her I loved reading Nancy Drew mysteries when I was younger. Mrs. Smink suggested that if I had enjoyed Nancy Drew, I should try mysteries by Dorothy Sayers, one of her favorite authors. With that bit of guidance Mrs. Smink led me to learn that fun books can be well-written, that not all mysteries are formulaic and that inquisitive heroines can be more powerful when they embrace their flaws. I do not know how many favorite authors Mrs. Smink has, but she found the perfect one to share with me. Thank you, Mrs. Smink!" Traci Meakem Richmond '88
18: "Perhaps her biggest impact on me was as my philosophy teacher my senior year. What I discovered in writing about my personal philosophy of spirituality has stuck with me ever since." | Cassandra Good '01
20: "After Mrs. Smink arrived at Holton, I found myself spending more time in the library just to absorb some of her energy and creativity. I did not take her Philosophy course, but as she became faculty advisor to the Scribbler, I benefited from many tutorials outside the classroom. She rejuvenated the paper and taught us not just about journalism but also about teamwork, quality, and responsibility. Oh, and resourcefulness, too—how else to describe the last-minute inclusion of a photo of her husband’s knee (complete with headline, “SMINK SPORTS SEXIEST KNEE”—he had won the charity contest, after all) when there wasn’t enough copy to complete the paper? | That was the May, 1973 issue. I have saved all the Scribblers we produced together." | Genie Siegler Hochman ‘74
21: “SMINK SPORTS SEXIEST KNEE”
23: "I distinctly remember that when I was in middle school and way too young to keep up with the social development of my classmates, Anna Smink was the only person who seemed to understand why I liked the Beatles when all of my classmates were listening to Heart, Chicago or the Cars. When I was too far out of the social loop to know what the other girls were talking about, I’d hang out in the library and talk to Mrs. Smink about the Beatles’ first concert at Shea Stadium. When I finally discovered boys and the Beatles became a thing of the past, I still came to the library to hang out and chat with my favorite librarian. Maybe that’s why I’ve always felt more at home in libraries than in night clubs.... Thanks for always finding something to share with everyone, Mrs. Smink!" fondly, Beckie (Ament) Marquigny ‘83
24: Mama Smink, "Thank you for being my faculty advisor for these past two years! You always offer your advisees a relaxing environment after our hectic days of classes. Besides giving me the rare privilege of eating in the library (a habit I had thought librarians considered sacrilege), you reminded me that I should not feel guilty about taking part of my day to unwind, even while I remain at school. Whether advising me in junior and senior year, watching out for me in Model United Nations or giving my bibliographies a glance, you have offered cheeriness, comfort and (on special occasions) the world’s best fruit salad. Love, your advisee for life," Rachel O’Connell '11
26: "What a wonderful person, and a library legend!"
27: "I visited Holton this year for the first time since 1983 and everything had changed so much that I actually got lost and had to ask someone for directions. So it was very comforting to see Mrs. Smink working away in her library office as always. I was shocked when she saw me and came running out to give me a huge hug! She not only remembered me nearly 30 years later but regaled me with stories of my library antics so silly that we were both in tears laughing! My friend Virginia and I had a habit of dressing up a bust of a baby's head with all manner of adornment including sunglasses and Kleenex hats. Mrs. Smink remembered all of this and even took the time to show me where the baby had been retired after we left, on top of a bookcase, protected from further mischief. I was touched that she remembered me at all, yet so fondly, and was warmed by her sense of humor and energy." Susan Bald Smith '83