Skip to main content

RES Music Teacher Retires After 39 Years in Education

May 19, 2017 09:12AM, Published by Audrey Sellers, Categories: Life+Leisure, City+School


Gallery: Josie Smith Retirement Celebration [6 Images] Click any image to expand.



On May 13, the Dragon community gathered at White’s Chapel UMC to sing the praises of Josie Smith. The beloved Rockenbaugh Elementary music teacher is retiring after 39 years in education to spend more time with her grandchildren. Smith’s current and former students, RESPECT choir members, parents, friends and colleagues gathered at a special open house to celebrate her career. Southlake Style asked Smith to reflect back on her years of teaching and share what she’s excited about in the next chapter of her life. 

Southlake Style: What have you enjoyed the most over your 39-year teaching career?

Smith: I’ve enjoyed trying to make a difference. I’ve taught several subjects during my career. Music has been the subject I’ve taught the longest. The joy of sharing what you are passionate about has made my job not a task, but a glorious gift to be passed on for hopefully years to come.

SS: How did it feel to be honored at your retirement celebration?

Smith: I was overwhelmed with the love and support from parents, current and former students, family friends, college friends and my wonderful family. I was surprised and so honored to have three former students that I taught back in 1980 show up. Two of them I had not seen in 35 years. I even had a precious grandmother fly in to see me. She always came for her two grandsons and granddaughter’s performances, and I was so thrilled she took time out for me. I was pleased to see so many kids who are not kids anymore. They are growing up to be the best, and I’m delighted to have been a small part of their lives.

SS: What are you looking forward to in the next chapter of your life?

Smith: I keep thinking I am going to slow down. I am not sure if that’s going to happen. My plans are to move to Lubbock and be with my daughters, their husbands and my grandson. I actually have another grandchild coming in July.

I am also planning to work with a church and their children’s music department. That’s a part-time position and will leave me some time to get re-acquainted with the city I left 11 years ago to move to DFW. Lots of great friends, former parents and students are waiting on me to get back quickly.

SS: Anything you’d like to say to Dragon families?

Smith: I have to first thank Russell Maryland  Many of you don’t know, but if it wasn’t for him and his committee doing “Digging for Dragons” in 2006, I would not be here. I also want to thank the administration at Carroll ISD. Trying to retire, sell a house, find a house, purge a house and pack a house has been the most challenging for me. I’m still working on it, but they were on my side and were very supportive. 

I must thank all of the teachers and staff members at Rockenbaugh Elementary. They, too, have shown me so much kindness and support during my journey. Finally, Carroll Dragon parents, grandparents and students: I thank you for your never-ending love and support. I know tradition is of the utmost importance. I want you to know that my husband, Coach Norm Smith and I will be Dragons forever.




Josie Smith


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • Summer in the Arts 2017: July 10-29

    07/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    roll them in the Grand Prairie Arts Council’s 2017 Summer in the Arts Program. Sessions run ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    07/21/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Summer Art Camps

    07/21/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Reptile Camp

    07/21/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Our Summer Day Camp provides a safe and fun environment for youngsters aged 6-15 to explore the w...


  • Exhibit: Milton H. Greene: Women

    07/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    May 13, 2017 – August 6, 2017 Born in New York in 1922, Milton Greene began taking pictures at...


  • Urban Foodies Camp: Deep in the Heart

    07/21/2017
    02:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join us as we taste our way around the city and tour Southlake’s finest food vendors, restaurants...


  • Summer Fun Food Truck Friday

    07/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come out and enjoy food, family, friends and fun! We will have great food from Tacos Mundial & Ca...


  • PARTY ON!

    07/21/2017
    07:00PM — 10:30PM

    Join us each Friday night for our weekly ballroom dance party! A great mix of ballroom, latin, c...


  • This July, celebrate classic movies on the big screen at Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre, 300...


  • Finding Neverland

    07/21/2017
    07:30PM

    Magic is real—all you need is a little pixie dust. “Finding Neverland,” directed by Tony Award-wi...


  • 2017 Mansfield Farmers Market

    07/22/2017
    08:00AM — 01:00PM

    In continuous operation since 2004, the Mansfield Farmers Market has experienced a renaissance in...


  • In honor of Elise Cerami, an avid swimmer who drowned during swim practice last June, Swim4Elise ...


  • The Dailey Method at Athleta

    07/22/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join Brand Ambassador Christina as she leads you through her monthly The Dailey Method class at A...


  • Medallion Help-Create - School is Out!

    07/22/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Hip, hip, hooray! School is out for summer! Vetro is celebrating summer break with fire and flame...


  • Reptile Camp

    07/22/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Our Summer Day Camp provides a safe and fun environment for youngsters aged 6-15 to explore the w...


  • Exhibit: Milton H. Greene: Women

    07/22/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    May 13, 2017 – August 6, 2017 Born in New York in 1922, Milton Greene began taking pictures at...


  • Brunch Time!

    07/22/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Watch our resident critters enjoy their Brunch every Saturday at 10am! Our arachnids and amphibia...


  • It's Appy Hour

    07/22/2017
    10:30AM — 12:00PM

    Meet us at the Betty Warmack Library and discover free and fun applications and learning tools th...


  • Finding Neverland

    07/22/2017
    07:30PM

    Magic is real—all you need is a little pixie dust. “Finding Neverland,” directed by Tony Award-wi...



Stay connected with us
Follow us on Instagram