NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Kathy Antoine-Smith, who has been a dedicated educator for more than four decades, as well as a familiar face on the dais at Board of Education meetings, will be retiring later this year.
Antoine-Smith, the assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services, will retire after 42 years and 10 months of service to the schoolchildren of New Brunswick.
Her retirement will be effective July 1.
In her role, she works in special education, health services, 504 plans for students with disabilities, bedside instruction for students who are too ill or impaired to attend school and other areas.
Antoine-Smith said the decision to retire was difficult considering she has never had another teaching job outside the New Brunswick school district.
“I started as a special education teacher,” she said. “I taught the gifted and talented, general ed, vice principal, principal and now this position. So, it was hard, but also, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”
The next chapter will likely include some traveling and visiting friends and family. She said she is eager to visit her son, who lives in Baltimore.
Her husband, Bruce Smith, passed away in 2017. He had served as a speech language specialist and high school guidance counselor for 30 years in the New Brunswick.
In fact, Kathy and Bruce met soon after she started working in the district in 1977. They were married for 33 years.
More than four decades as an educator went by “very fast,” she said.
“It’s about the children,” Antoine-Smith said. “I enjoy the families, the children. Work is always a challenge, but it’s been the relationships you build and the connections to the community and watching students succeed. In education, it’s very intrinsic, you know. Warm, good feelings. It’s about the relationship you build over the years. You couldn’t have told me I would have been here 40 years, plus.”