Little and mighty are two synonyms I'd sure use to describe Jacinda Smith, principal at Waveland Elementary. Full of energy, she flies around, taking care of this and that, even teaching me how to enter the library (where I volunteer on Friday morning helping librarian Susie Nichols) due to security purposes. Wherever needed, dutifully and cheerfully, she's there!

Born in Crawfordsville, Jacinda is a graduate of Fountain Central, where she was active in FCA, cheerleading, track, tennis and swimming. Wonderful personal memories abound from her exchange student trips to Russia and France, sponsored by the D'Arlier Foundation.

Her undergrad career culminated in a bachelor's degree from Purdue in 2000, followed by her Administrative license in 2011. Her teaching experiences include Crawfordsville School Corporation and Southeast Fountain. This was her first year as a principal. She notes, "The Lord has blessed me with this tremendous opportunity to serve at the capacity of a building administrator. Every job has its challenges but each day I wake up and think, 'I get to make a difference today!' I really enjoy knowing that I can exercise my leadership abilities. I love working with teachers and challenging them to reach their full potential. I then get to watch how these fantastic teachers at Waveland Elementary take on my challenges and, in turn empower our students to be successful learners in the 21st century."

As per future plans, she wants to never stop growing and learning professionally. "I have a healthy appetite for my own personal learning and don't plan to ever lose that hunger. As far as future employment, I love the challenges and rewards that go along with being a building principal. I plan to stay where I am until the Lord tells me otherwise."

When Jacinda told me about her favorite teacher, I was only hoping someone had those great thoughts about me. She said, "I had many favorite teachers, but there is one that really stands out. Nana Peevler, my third grade teacher, melted my heart on my first day of third grade. I'll never forget when she had us all sit on the floor around her feet that day and told us we were going to be a family. It felt so good to belong. I remember thinking, I want to be like Mrs. Peevler someday and help people to feel like they belong, too. "

Jacinda and her husband, Rodney, are the very proud parents of two adorable youngsters, Hallie and Ely. Both parents love being involved in the children's sporting events and helping them with showing livestock. The Smiths are members of Sterling Christian Church in Veedersburg.

A member of several professional groups (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Indiana Association of School Principals), Jacinda is most pleased to be a new board member for Character Counts of Montgomery County. I have all the confidence that our little and mighty gal will make a difference in many young people's lives and I thank Jacinda Smith for letting me use her as this week's feature in "Around the County!"