Dawn Smith: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Friday, September 6, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 6, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.

It is with great admiration that I nominate Dawn Smith for the Spirit of Gainesville Award in the category of community service. Dawn is a dedicated, wise leader who gives her most to all that she does. After completing medical school, she decided to forgo a career in pediatrics. She instead, decided to dedicate her life to the betterment of children in other ways. Although she chose not to continue her medical training to ensure that her children had the best lives possible, she has devoted her time and talent to many children, not just her own. She has tirelessly volunteered at multiple schools including Gainesville County Day School, Williams Elementary School, and Lincoln Middle School over the past 11 years. In addition to helping in her own children’s classes, she has also volunteered many hours helping other children to make sure they understand new material and succeed in class. She has helped many students with extra tutoring and individualized help to ensure that they keep up with their classmates. She has also helped the teachers at each of these schools by preparing materials for classes so that teachers can focus on their learning plans.


Dawn Smith


Category: Community Service

About Dawn Smith

Occupation: Mom

Years in Gainesville: 24

Spouse James Smith

Children Ronnie and Dylan

Dawn has also spent significant time volunteering for community organizations such as Children’s Home Society. Serving on the advisory board for this group, she helped to raise money and support services for children in Alachua and Marion counties. During her association with this organization, she organized and managed a large charity auction as part of the annual fundraiser, Putting on the Ritz. During her tenure as auction chair, the auction had greater donations and proceeds than in prior or subsequent years.

With her children now in public schools in the Alachua County School System, she has directed much of her energy to improving the environment of Williams Elementary and Lincoln Middle Schools. For the year 2012-2013 she was the Volunteer Coordinator for Williams Elementary. In this capacity, she made sure that the teachers had the assistance they needed in the class and that the students got the attention that they needed. Through the use of her excellent interpersonal skills, she made sure to keep volunteers engaged and involved in many of the activities of the school. In addition to this more global activity, she also worked closely with Coach Jossi to make sure that he would be able to expand the Junior Olympic Archery Development program at Williams Elementary. Without her involvement in this program, multiple students would not have been able to participate in this successful program.

While focusing on her responsibilities at Williams Elementary, she also expended tremendous effort to enhance the culture and environment at Lincoln Middle School. In 2012-2013, she acted as co-coordinator of the Teacher Breakfast Program. Each month, she helped to coordinate and supply breakfast for the teachers and staff at Lincoln Middle School. This much appreciated program grew in size during the year and provided the teachers/staff with a sense of appreciation.

This year, Dawn has decided to take on greater challenges. She now serves as the President of the PTA at Lincoln Middle School. She is a great delegator who makes people want to help. Rather than managing a small facet of the environment of the middle school, she excels at coordinating a larger group of individuals who are working together to enhance the school atmosphere for students, teachers, and parents.

Although she has concentrated her efforts in the schools, she has not limited her involvement to this environment. She is also the manager of a soccer team for Gainesville Soccer Alliance. In this voluntary position she is responsible for making sure that the entire team is eligible to play by the first game. She works as a liaison between the coach, players, and parents to make sure that everyone is kept up to date on the schedule, practices, and other activities. She coordinates the schedule and ensures that the entire team has suitable lodging for tournaments.

Dawn works tirelessly to improve the lives of others. She could use her intelligence and drive to do anything that she would want. She has dedicated herself to helping to improve the lives of others. She is, by far, the most organized, determined, and dedicated person that I know. She is always looking for ways to make other’s lives better. Though she would be embarrassed to hear that I am nominating her, she deserves to be recognized by this award. This award will only motivate her to find other ways to enhance, improve, and ease the lives of others.

Nominated by James M. Smith

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