Starmont renames gym ‘Cathy Smith Gymnasium’ in honor of long-time employee

Starmont renames gym ‘Cathy Smith Gymnasium’ in honor of long-time employee
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 6:58 PM CDT
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ARLINGTON, Iowa (KCRG) - It’s homecoming week at Starmont, which means Cathy Smith is situated at the scorers table.

“I got started when my daughters were playing volleyball in junior high,” Smith said.

She’s kept that spot warm since 1992 which is when she began keeping score for all home volleyball and boys and girls basketball games.

Smith has worked as a secretary at Starmont for 50 years, but she puts in numerous hours outside of school hours working for the kids. She finds all the people involved in running every sporting event, from the officials to the ticket takers, to make sure spectators can watch their Stars.

“She really doesn’t take credit for all the things she does, but running school districts takes a lot of volunteers to accomplish a lot of things. She is great at getting those volunteers and also doing some of the things to make it come off successfully,” Starmont Community School District Superintendent Rob Busch said.

Smith said it’s easy to get volunteers because of the Starmont community.

“You just ask them and they say yes,” Smith explained. “We host a state contest probably five or six times. We need 100 volunteers and we easily get 100 volunteers,” she added.

Those in the community respectfully disagree. They say it’s because of Smith.

“I’ve tried to chase her out of her a few times this summer, saying try to get out there and enjoy the summer, but she’s dedicated,” Busch said.

“Because she’s done so much for Starmont and so much for the community, nobody ever says no. She’s always able to get the people that she needs because she’s so generous and so giving,” 6-12th grade special education teacher Suzy Hamlett said.

It was time to pay it forward to the woman who bleeds black and gold. Instead of telling her how much she’s impacted this school, they showed her.

“Please stand if you have ever been called by Cathy to volunteer to work an event at Starmont, which we know no one can say no to Cathy,” 6-8th grade language arts Abbie Schuhmacher read during a special dedication ceremony.

During that ceremony, the school unveiled a plaque that will hang above the doors of the newly renamed ‘Cathy Smith Gymnasium. In addition, the student section will be known as ‘The Cathy Crazies.’

Cathy knew the ceremony would make her emotional.

“I’ll cry,” Smith said.

She took a victory lap instead in front of a packed crowd who are the reason for her dedicated years of service.

“The people, the kids. It’s just a community out here,” Smith said is why she helps out.

They felt it was time they celebrated Smith who is the star at Starmont.

“She is one of a kind,” Schuhmacher said.

“She is the backbone of Starmont,” Hamlett added.