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Happy Birthday Smithfield High School

Still Sentinels after all these years

By Tom Hines

Possibly the best example of all is Bob Cleasby’s musical magic. He was someone who not only lit a creative, inspirational fire in those who were musically gifted, but also made all of his students see themselves as a repository of previously-unrecognized musical talent.

The dreams, aspirations and accomplishments of thousands of Smithfield’s young people have been created and guided by a continuing tradition of dedication, excellence and vision. Perhaps the opening lines in the dedication of the 1968 Anvil, the first SHS yearbook, say it best. “In our age, the single most valuable legacy society can leave to its youth is a steadfast conviction that education is the key to a successful existence.”

As we look back on 50 years of a still-youthful Smithfield High School, I know that so many other graduates, faculty members and parents share the pride I feel. In my nearly 40 year association with SHS as a student, student teacher, teacher and parent, I have always been proud to have learned from and served with some of the finest educators in the state of Rhode Island.

As we celebrate the golden anniversary of SHS and venture into its next 50 years, I firmly believe that the high school’s legacy as the vibrant cornerstone of our community will continue to flourish and make our young people proud to say, “I graduated from Smithfield High School.”

To the next 50 years and beyond, “good luck and best wishes.”

Tom Hines entered Smithfield High School in 1969 and graduated in 1973. He was hired in September 1978 as a full-time English teacher at the high school. He retired in 2010 and continues to substitute at the high school and teach part-time at Johnson & Wales University. His daughter, Tia, is a 2014 graduate of Smithfield High School.