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Susan Smith

October 5, 2017

Vista Fundamental Elementary in Simi Valley, California, is large as schools go with 681 kindergarteners through sixth graders and receptionist Susan Smith was in the center of it all.

“She’s the hub,” Simi Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Jake Finch told The Associated Press Tuesday. “She supported the principal, taking care of the many things that happen in the school. She was patient. She was kind, especially with the kids. Even when it was chaotic she would smile.”

Smith also was very patriotic, Finch added.

“Today (Tuesday) everyone at the school is wearing red, white and blue in her honor,” Finch said.

Smith, 53, of Simi Valley, was office manager at Vista Elementary for the past three years. She had been with the district since 2001.

“She was a big country music fan,” said Finch.

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