Top Teacher : Darrick Smoke

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:41 PM EDT
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HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - There might be nothing more special in teaching than helping a new generation grow in the same place where you grew up.

This week’s WTOC Top Teacher is giving back in Hinesville.

Meet Darrick Smoke.

You might think Bradwell institute students are getting ready for homecoming but it’s all to celebrate their math teacher, Darrick Smoke, who never left home in Liberty County.

“Bradwell is my alma mater, I’ve been here since kindergarten, my wife and I are homegrown. We’ve been fortunate enough to teach some of these kids and we are on second generation.”

Smoke has been teaching here for 29 years.

“I can say hey, I know your mother, I know your father, I know your family, so being here and being from Hinesville, has given me a personal touch throughout the years.”

Smoke says teaching is a calling and he was lucky to find his.

“I like math, I like problem solving and I think our careers come out of our gifts that what are you good at, I always tell the kids you are going to be known by what you do. You know it’s a great thing to do something that you love.”

But his reach goes beyond the classroom.

“He’s been helping me to become a teacher. He’s just really an overall good person,” Student Megan Robbins said.

“I’ve had the privilege of being his principal at both the middle and high school level and anything that anybody says that is great about him is true,” Principal Roland Van Horn said.

“Thank you we didn’t ask for all the fuss but we sure appreciate it.”

Darrick Smoke, this week’s WTOC Top Teacher.