LHS teacher Heather Smith is not your average teacher

Alexis Gamache, News Editor

Students claim they know their teachers; however, if someone told you that one of Ludlow High School’s faculty members shared the limelight with popular celebrities such as Mila Kunis and Johnny Depp, would you believe them?

Fact: Teachers don’t drown in essay’s and think of ways to make our lives miserable. Shockingly enough, most teachers have lives. Mindblowing right?

English teacher Ms. Heather Smith, on top of her busy teaching schedule, edits visual effects for award winning movies such as Forrest Gump and I Am Legend.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, Smith has been invited and attended movie premieres in New York for movies such as the major motion picture “The Hobbit.”

“My dean asked only the best of the best to attend the premiere,” explains Smith

Ludlow just got interesting, huh?

Smith grew up in the town of Huntington, New York and eventually moved to Northampton, Mass., about three years ago, thriving to find a town that had “cultural diversity and that embraced acceptance.”

Having attended the University of Vermont, she has a Bachelors in English and wanted to teach but put that on the backburner and got side-tracked by the world of editing.

However, she didn’t push teaching aside altogether. Smith started teaching at LHS in 2011 as a substitute but has been teaching for about 20 years overall. She’s taught film at American Films Institute in Los Angeles, and screenwriting at the University of Hartford.

During the summer, while most teachers are planning out new work for their students, she isn’t. Her summer consists flying out to movie settings and working with A-list celebrities. During the school year, however, she’s able to work from the comfort of her own home.

“Editing was my first real job,” explains Smith, “it usually takes a team from 5 to 50 people depending on the jobs, I’m usually working on visual effects.”

If the perks of having your name up in the lights isn’t enough, maybe meeting celebrities such as Brad Pitt and having him buy you champagne is.

Smith reminisces about the time she was at the popular restaurant, Orso, in LA, and was sharing the evening with her two friends, celebrating their engagement. The group heard people yelling. Oddly enough it was Mary-Louise Parker, actress from the hit show “Weeds” and ex Billy Crudup.

“I remember Crudup had cheated on Parker and they were yelling back and forth,” says Smith, “Brad felt so bad that our night was ruined he offered to treat us to champagne and wished my friends good luck in their marriage. It was pretty cool.”

Talking to her about meeting celebrities is like talking to a scientist about science, it was natural, as if the stories she was telling me was what she did this morning.

I could tell that a thought had come up, because she had a huge grin on her face,  and she was about to burst out into laughter.

Every year there is an awards show, The Spirit Awards, that celebrates independent film. They have the awards show and following there is a big party. Ms. Smith had attended the party along with the hundreds of celebs there. She has seen this all before and nothing was new to her. So Smith and her friend came up with a little game.

“My friend and I tried photo bombing every picture that was taken by the paparazzi,” laughs Smith, “whoever got in the most pictures won.”

But when she wants to take a breather from her busy schedule, she enjoys yoga and attending her knitting group called “Stitch and Bitch.”

Smith lives life by one quote, “turn your wounds into wisdom,” and now runs, GSA along with art teacher, Ms. Maguire in hopes to help them turn their wounds into wisdom.