Outdoor Theater Becomes Reality at Smyrna Elementary School

Sep 29, 2023 at 02:18 pm by WGNS News

Article Contributed by Lichelle Leonard, M.Ed.


SMYRNA, TENN - Friday, August 25th finally arrived! It may have been warm but the sun was shining! It was the day that students could use their new Outdoor Amphitheater for their first House Celebration of the school year. The stage showcased a banner for each of the six houses, a bright red carpet, and music that was blaring the song Celebration. Staff members danced with students as the YMCA song was playing...


~~“It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A”~~

House Celebrations are an amazing time when the entire school comes together to showcase the outstanding behavior of students. While every staff member and every student is a member of a house, they all celebrate as one big family! Lichelle Leonard, an instructional STEM coach at Smyrna Elementary wrote, “We celebrate entire classes, as well as individual students. Staff members are also celebrated for their achievements, accomplishments, and if they have overcome challenges.”

“We do outside celebrations with our whole school — 700 students and staff. Every three weeks we celebrate academic achievements and class achievements. When our clubs perform you can’t even move around our gym,” said Vanessa Ritter, principal of Smyrna Elementary

School staff and students were able to celebrate Ryan Sanford from the Dow Smith Company (DSC) as he snuck in the school entrance-way by the big tree to enjoy a few moments of this great occasion. Vanessa Ritter, principal of Smyrna Elementary School, called Ryan onto the stage to thank him for leading the charge of managing the outdoor amphitheater construction. She also thanked Dow Smith Construction for their wonderful partnership and for providing this outdoor space for the school and community.

Mrs. Leonard wrote, “We cannot thank DSC enough for its generosity in taking our small dream and making it a reality for our school. Currently, we are in a “Raise the Roof” campaign to raise the money to construct a roof on the theater.” Families have been asked to participate in the fundraising efforts and donate $40 per family. While they have received some money, the school still has a long way to go. Smyrna Elementary is seeking community support and is writing grants to help in raising enough money for the roof. 

Leonard said, “We cannot wait to have a big ribbon-cutting celebration when the entire project is complete!” Staff thanked Dow Smith for being a blessing to the local school. Leonard said in closing, “Your partnership has really taught us to always dream big and continue to be a champion for our school family and community!”

Smyrna Elementary, a Rutherford County operated school, is at 1001 Sam Davis Road. 



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