History and Facts
Elizabeth Smith was born Mildred Elizabeth Nash on June 20, 1909, in Lillian, Texas, to Clay Calhoun and Nancy Nash. She went to school in MISD until graduation. Her parents died when she was 14 and her older sister Erma Nash raised her and eight other children. Later on she would go on to teach in the school named after her beloved sister.
Ms. Smith comes from two of Mansfield's historic families; her mother was from the Casstevens family, and her father was from the Nash family. Ms. Smith graduated from Mansfield High School in 1928 and graduated from North Texas Agricultural College in 1930. She also attended North Texas Teacher's College and began teaching in 1931.
Ms. Smith began her career as a second grade teacher, but soon switched to first grade. She taught first grade in Mansfield ISD until she retired in 1971.
"She wanted each child to be the best they could be," said Ann McWilliams, Ms. Smith's niece and former student. "Elizabeth Smith was a consumate teacher - she loved children, she loved learning, and she believed in taking responsibility for those in her charge," said McWilliams. "I do not believe anyone has ever cared more about not only getting the job done, but in doing it with dignity and real class."
Ms. Smith was known for teaching penmanship because of her beautiful handwriting. Parents wanted their children to be in her class so they could learn cursive writing from her. Her handwriting was so well known that Glenn Harmon, then principal of Nash Elementary, asked Ms. Smith to copy each teaher's lesson plan books so they would be legible.
Smith spent most of her life with the district as both a student and an educator. Her life was her students and her school. "The school was her career," said her daughter Mary Beth Madsen. "It was everything for her." Ms. Smith died Oct. 7, 1983 at the age of 74, but her legacy lives on at Elizabeth Smith Elementary School and in Mansfield ISD.
School Mascot - Stallions
School Colors - Red, Black, & White
Grades Taught - Pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade
Teacher/Student Ratio - 1:22