After serving in education for 43 years, Connie Smith of Lake View has retired.
Connie, who is from North Bend, Neb., Graduated from Wayne State in 1971, where she met her husband John. Later, she obtained her Masters in Educational Guidance from Buena Vista University in 2008.
“I started teaching in Madrid in 1978, then at Ballard / Huxley in 1980 until 1989,” she explains. “Then we came back to John’s hometown of Lake View and I taught at Kuemper for four years before I came to St. Mary’s. As French is almost obsolete in many high schools, I started to prepare for my master’s degree in counseling at BV. In St. Mary’s, Rose Davis was my mentor, and later Bev Mach was very helpful to me as well.
Connie has taught a variety of subjects over the years. She has taught elementary music at Panora, French / ELL in Madrid, French and music at Ballard / Huxley, elementary music and computer science in East Sac, elementary music at Kuemper elementary in Breda and Mount . Carmel and French in Kuemper. She also coached a dance team for 40 years in total, nine years at Ballard and 31 years at East Sac.
His last job was a K-12 school counselor for 16 years at St. Mary’s; last year she worked part time.
“At St. Mary’s we were able to educate character through faith,” she said. “I worked in private education for 20 years. That was probably the most positive part. I don’t know what I liked the most – working with the little ones or preparing the high school students for their careers. K at 12 was pretty ideal.
“I will miss the faculty and staff at St. Mary’s; they were like family, ”she added. “I will miss the children too. St. Mary’s has been a very special time in my career and in my life.
Connie’s husband John has retired as well, although he still does occasional education and trains wrestling. He was a teacher and principal at East Sac. They will marry 49 years in September.
The Smith family includes Benjamin who is married to Abbie Higgins; they live with their children Scarlett and Morgan in Wall Lake; Brian and his wife Jennifer live in Denison with their children Sophia and Jack, Adrick and his wife Melissa are in Des Moines; Kayla and her other relative Alex are in Minnesota; and Cédric in Saint-Paul.
The Smiths were also foster parents for 30 years.
“We had long-term children, including several young boys,” she explained.
When the Smiths aren’t spending time with their family, they love to cycle.
“My husband and I love to cycle to Carroll,” she commented. “We also have some longer bike trips planned for June.”
Connie is a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Church of Christ in Lake View as well as of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Central.
These are several of their favorite recipes.
By Abbie Higgins Smith
16+ ounces. chopped crab
2 packets of cream cheese
2 tbsp. mayo
3 tbsp. lemon juice
Toss and garnish with more chili flakes
Serve with wheat éclairs
2 pounds of icing sugar
1 cup of cinnamon fireball whiskey
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)
Line a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with lightly greased parchment paper or non-stick foil.
In a large bowl, put the icing sugar. Pour in the Fireball whiskey and mix well with a large whisk. The mixture will look like icing.
Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds at 70% power, or until the chips are about three quarters melted. Stir using residual heat to melt chocolate chips until smooth.
Alternate Method: Melt chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop.
Scrape the melted chocolate into the sugar and liqueur mixture. Stir very well.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. (sometimes I have to knead it with my fingertips). If desired, sprinkle top with cinnamon candy and gently press into fudge.
Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Cut into squares.
Note: I have found it very important to use the residual heat to melt the chocolate chips, otherwise the chocolate
hardens too early and is difficult to mix with the sugar mixture. Also, it is better to use alcohol at room temperature or
the chocolate mixture may thicken too quickly. Do not overheat the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly before mixing it with the sugar mixture. Warning: Ah! Fireball alcohol does not evaporate, so eat sparingly.
Bran muffins in the fridge
Pour two cups of boiling water over two cups of All Bran cereal. Let stand until the mixture is creamy.
Cream a cup of shortening and two cups of sugar. Add: four eggs and beat. Add: a liter of buttermilk + All Bran mixture.
Stir in 4 cups of 40% Bran Flakes.
Add: if desired 2 cups of raisins or 1 cup of walnuts.
Store the dough in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. Will last up to 2-3 weeks.
Bake in greased muffin tins or cupcake racks at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Quick and easy for a breakfast outside.