Meet Hillary Smith

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“Teaching is both a vocation and a spiritual gift, and by some mysterious means, I ended up with both of those things,” says Hillary Smith, Providence teacher and chair of the PPS Latin department. “I fell into learning Latin when I was in 7th grade. She has followed me since then, even when I tried to shake her off my trail. Now I know that God gave me Latin (and Greek) and the skill of understanding those languages to share with His children and the families that make-up His big family, the church.”

Hillary studied Classics, Ancient History, and Great Texts through Baylor University’s prestigious University Scholars Program with the intention of returning to teach at a Christian Classical school like the one that had so greatly inspired and molded her as she was growing up. Since graduation from Baylor, Mrs. Smith has specialized in teaching the classical languages to students, ages 8 to 18 in various settings and even running her own Latin tutoring program. As a rhetoric school teacher and Latin department chair at Providence, Hillary has set consistently high standards for our growing Latin program. “Equipping students with the tools to directly access the primary sources—the firsthand accounts—of a millennia of history is my overarching goal for the Providence Latin program. Along the way, students reap a myriad of benefits: better understanding of English grammar and vocabulary, comprehension of English etymology, a headstart in learning Romance spoken languages, deeper appreciation of translating scripture, and even the building of character,” she explains.

Providence has become “home” for Hillary since she began teaching at our school in 2019. “Teachers are encouraged to love and see the image of God in their students; likewise, the administration does a great job of modeling that in the way they encourage teachers weekly,” she says.  “I love that Providence is a pro-family environment and a community that treats its individuals as human beings, not just cogs in a machine. On multiple occasions administrators and parents babysat my toddlers during my classes when my child care arrangements fell through. After the opening prayer of a parent-teacher conference, one parent asked to pray with me for my children too!” 

A mother of two (with one on the way),  Hillary’s dedication to her own family and the Providence family is easy to see. She takes seriously her role of mentoring students and enjoys the adventure of exploring two of her greatest passions, the Latin language and the world of antiquities, with the students in her classroom every day. “It is impossible for me to know and explain how God will use the learning of Latin in each student’s life,” says Hillary, “but I know that He will be faithful to do so; therefore, I try to be obedient. Along the way, we try to have some fun in class, enjoying learning and each other’s company.”

For more on why we study Latin, check out Mrs. Smith’s workshop below for parents.

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