Jordan Smith
Class of 2008
What have you done since graduating?: "Right after I graduated I went to Holy Cross in Worcester for my undergraduate degree. I graduated in 2012 from Holy Cross and went on to work at Notre Dame High School in West Haven as a Theology teacher. Then in 2017 I was hired by St. Joseph School in Trumbull to be the director of their on campus ministry and mission. I do all of our retreat programs and orientation programs, and I provide counseling to our students. I love being at St. Joseph's and this will be my fourth year. I am finishing my master's degree from Boston College in Educational Leadership in May. I've been pretty busy in education, and I manage real estate properties on a part-time basis."
What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?: "I think about the community that we had at Gilbert. It was great for me because the classes were small. I remember the teachers being so supportive and willing to engage us as people. As an educator and a campus minister, person to person contact, forming relationships, and community building is really important, I was looking back at my time at Gilbert, this is probably why I understand it. It's all important in my job now because I experienced it as a student. Deb Lewis, who is currently your Associate Principal for the high school, was an English teacher while I was at Gilbert. I had her twice and she was one of my favorite teachers because she connected with me and my friends. We really had a chance to know that our teachers were like regular people. We enjoyed engaging and being with them, either in the classroom or after school. I was going through some old papers the other day and it just so happens I found a stack of emails that I printed out back then. My grandfather passed away in 2008.  I had an email that I sent to all of my teachers when he died, letting them know I would be out of school that day. The teachers' responses were so kind and so genuine. That's really what I take from Gilbert. It's about fostering community."
Do you have any good memories from your time at the school?: "When I was there, one of my fondest memories every year was building the Homecoming Wall, which was always a blast. Homecoming was always a great time. When I was in the marching band, we would always play our show during the football game. We got to go to the game and the dance afterwards, but building the wall was always the highlight of the fall. Especially during my senior year."
What advice would you give current students?: "It's really important to make high school, college, and your job meaningful. You need to create good relationships with people. Form meaningful relationships with your teachers. If you are a student, get to know your teachers, stop in after school, and make an extra effort to get to know them outside of the classroom. As a student, we often separate our teachers from ourselves, and only interact with them in the classroom.. Some of the best advice is delivered during those out of classroom moments. For me, it's a lot of time spent on retreat, service projects, and things like that. But get to know your teachers outside of your classroom. They may become mentors to you.Eventually, down the road they may become friends of both you and your family. They will watch you grow and be successful at your job. I think that it's probably something that I would tell every one of my students. If you like the people you work with because you got to know them, go out of your way to make good relationships."