Not all heroes wear capes

Gail Smith is the woman behind the scenes
Go Gail! Gail Smith in her heroic stance
Go Gail! Gail Smith in her heroic stance
Kelly Parker

Often we associate superheroes with those in head-to-toe latex or a cape that swooshes through the wind as they save the day. However, not all heroes wear capes and Gail Smith keeps things simple with her H-F armor. Serving as the Director of Activities since 2006, Smith oversees about 75 activities throughout our school. However, even with years and years of experience, the job is anything but easy. 

Working with all of the head sponsors, Smith goes through what the programs will look like each year. Calculating the budget, scheduling facility usage, and making sure everyone is registered on Snap! Manage are just a few of the details that go into planning each event and activity. 

“There’s a variety of things that we take care of and then I also take care of the facilities when people want spaces during the day or with programming,” Smith shared. “So I check to see if the spaces are available and we look to see if there’s conflicts that day, or we pick better days.” 

Just this year, there was a scheduling conflict with our school auditorium involving the theater department and a shortage of substitutes on campus. The auditorium is often used as an overflow space but in order to provide that space for students, the theater department was forced to cancel their performance for the elementary schools during the school day. 

That was until Smith personally contacted the principals of Serena Hills, Infant Jesus of Prague School, The Learning Lab Preschool, and Heather Hill to reschedule the performance. The theater department was then able to hold their Children’s Play the following Monday, all thanks to Smith’s determination and genuine care for the students of our school. 

However, in many situations, it is very hard to please everyone and with a school of nearly 3,000 students, chances of that are impossible. Sometimes scheduling or circumstances don’t always align with every individual’s expectations, but Smith takes the overall experience of students very seriously and considers that when planning events.

“We try to do what we think is in the best interest of the majority of the students,” said Smith. “If we can accommodate, we will accommodate, but we can’t always.” 

In addition to managing activities, Smith oversees the larger school events as well. Events such as the orientation day for freshmen and transfer students at the beginning of the year, the school dances, yearbook distribution, VIP photography, and the senior graduation ceremony at the end of the year. 

Like many of our administrators, Smith strives for the success and excellence of H-F. However, it’s her unique and perspicacious outlook that allows her to manage everything the way she does. With the help of spreadsheets, communication with sponsors, and Snap! Manage registration, Smith is able to remain organized and focused throughout the year. 

If you didn’t know who Smith was before, I sure hope you do now. As humans, we don’t always notice the things that get done behind the scenes but we would notice their absence. So while she may not look like your average Avenger, make no mistake: Smith is an H-F Superhero and without her, we’d be doomed.


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