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Elkin City Schools

Elkin City Schools

Hear from Tonya Smith about creating family with students at Elkin City Schools.

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Meet Tonya Smith

Teacher Ambassador

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I am fortunate to be teaching in the school system that I attended and graduated from. It is a small district with a heart for its students. Elkin City Schools takes special care of its stakeholders through relationship-building, strong communication, and community connections. We all work together to provide the best education possible for every student in our District. Our supportive administration listens to ideas and concerns. They go the extra mile to make teachers and students feel valued.

Tonya Smith


  • 7th-12th Grade Vocal Music Teacher


  • Elon University


  • 2020 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Piedmont-Triad Region Teacher of the Year
  • Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Gamma Psi Chapter, 2018-present
  • Music Educators of North Carolina, 1990-present
  • North Carolina Association of Educators, 1990-present
  • Teacher of the Year - Elkin City Schools
  • Teacher of the Year - Elkin High School, 2019
  • Jaycees Outstanding Young Educator of the Year, 1992
  • Education Policy Fellows Program North Carolina Cohort September 2020-present
  • GoGlobalNC Australia Participant July 2020-present

Teacher Certification Program

Why I Teach

I became a teacher in hopes that I could make a positive difference in the lives of others. Music is my area, but at the heart of it is the relationships, trust, and family-like atmosphere that I want to form with my students. I want students to celebrate themselves and each other in the most radically inclusive way possible. I want them to reach inside themselves and discern the possibilities to find a plan and a purpose, accept global responsibility, and be the agents of change to propel our society into a future of equality and doing good for others. I want them to possess the social emotional skills and awareness that no matter where life takes them in their journey, the people with whom they interact are valuable. Curriculum is important, to be sure, but your positive interaction will be the healing agent that your students will need. I know that a smile, a kind word, an encouraging note, or just a simple “Hello! How are your today?” can be life changing. I have the determination to set the tone and the stage for my classroom whether it be face-to-face instruction, all virtual, or a blended model. I know I will make mistakes. The failure comes in not trying. A simple apology and moving forward almost always leads to a fresh start. I give my students that fresh start every day. I want to teach with purpose for impact. I want my teaching to have an impact on students, but my students have had a bigger impact on me.

Elkin City Schools by the numbers

  • 85

    Dedicated Teachers

  • 1,219

    Engaged Learners

  • $35,000

    New Teacher Starting Salary

About Elkin City Schools

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