As you all know, we recently lost a member of our TAL family. George Smawley began teaching with many of us at the Middle School, and some of us transferred along with him to the High School. He also coached track.

We will all remember George in our own way. The most telling remembrances, however, are being spoken by the children who knew him. On the day that the terrible news was announced, I was asked by one of my seniors if I had heard about it. I replied that I did. “It’s so sad,” she said. “He was so nice. He never yelled at us once. The class always ended with everyone in a good mood.” That is how students should remember all of their teachers.

As teachers, we often wonder how we will be remembered. Both by our peers, and by our students. When reflecting on what George meant to the Lindenhurst School District, I have heard many people answer the same way. “He has left a legacy of kindness.”

We are all put on this Earth for a reason. I honestly believe that George, however, was an exception to that belief. If you asked a dozen people who knew him why he was put here among us, they would all have a different answer. They would all have witnessed something telling. Something that stood out among others. George was put on this Earth for many reasons. And his life will forever impact all of us in many different ways. We will miss him.

Respectfully Submitted,
Michael Pastore