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Former students remember Wallace Smith’s passion for education and the community

Wallace Smith was Ashford High School's first black principal.
Wallace Smith was Ashford High School's first black principal.(WTVY)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:24 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

“Places like Cleveland have their Lebron James. We have Troy with John Lewis. Ashford had their Wallace Smith,” says Smith’s former student W. Charles Lewis.

World War 2 veteran Wallace Smith spent many of the 101 years of his life serving as an educator at Ashford high school.

The impact he made as a principal remains with his former students.

“He had a passion for his students. Always encouraging them to do better. When he said he was proud of you, you knew he meant it,” says Smith’s former student Angela Underwood.

He had that same passion when it came to building bridges and mending fences for civil rights and being a community advocate on many fronts.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Dr.Smith made the community better. He was a community-minded servant. Up until the very end, he was a voice in our community, and we will never forget that because they are very rare jewels,” says Smith’s friend Samuel Crawford.

His legacy can’t be replaced, but it’s one that many consider a model to follow.

“In the passing of Mr. Smith, John Lewis, we see the torch being passed to those behind and I just hope that there are those that are able to reach out and grab the torch and carry it forward,” says Lewis.

 “Mr. Wallace Smith will be known and missed and remembered as one of the best principals ever,” says Underwood.

Funeral services for Mr. Wallace smith have not been announced yet.

Copyright 2020 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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