Grace Shaw-Rockey – Mustangs Ahead

LRHS full-time substitute Sonja Smith.

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Teaching runs in LRHS full-time substitute teacher Sonja Smith’s blood with many educators within her family.

“I became a teacher because my family is loaded with educators,” Smith said. “My mother is a retired teacher, my daughter is employed by the Manatee County School system, and my younger sister is a dental instructor at LECOM.”  

Smith grew up in Miami and attending both Florida Agriculture and Mechanical (A&M) University and Florida State University. She later moved to Charlotte, North Carolina where she lived for 34 years prior to coming to LRHS.

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“My hobbies are conducting bands, orchestras, and other ensembles. I am also the owner, founder and director of Friends Academy of Music Education (FAME) which is a music studio for children and adults,” continued Smith. She even has the fine arts wing of the school she previously taught at named after her.

As a former band director, Smith became interested in coming out of retirement after watching the Mustang band on YouTube. Smith will be filling in until a new orchestra director can be found.

Smith is appreciative of the warm welcome and is excited to be a full-time substitute to meet and teach so many new Mustangs.