Teacher Tea – Mr. Smith

Accounting and Money Matters teacher discusses his jobs outside of teaching.


Photo by Sydney Shinkle

Smith works on his computer during block lunch to finalize lesson plans for his fourth period

Accounting and Money Matters teacher Ellery Smith has knowledge about business and money that go far beyond classroom textbooks.

Smith began his career as a credit analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank, which was then called Bank One, where he would analyze spreadsheets for its automotive division. Smith also spent some of his time working at Bank of America as an Agency Management Officer, where he would merge loans with other banks and other lenders. It wasn’t until 2003 that Smith began teaching.

“I’ve always had a passion for teaching,” Smith said. “When I worked at Chase Manhattan, I would always go back and read to the elementary kids and then I’d always go back to [the University of] North Texas and talk to the athletes, so that’s kind of where I got my passion. After I got my bachelor’s degree in business administration, I went back to school at night and took the classes to become a teacher.”

Though Smith now spends the majority of his time in the classroom teaching transactions and how to analyze payrolls, he still runs small businesses on the side, such as his moving company.

“I run a moving company where, most of the time, I employ former student athletes from here at Hebron to help me,” Smith said. “One kid in particular, Andrew Herring, used to be one of my former students and he used to always help me with the moving company. He soon started his own moving company, and I actually started doing some moves with him which was pretty cool.”

Smith is also known for helping people with their taxes. Many teachers have hired Smith to help them. To this day, Smith has around 500 clients, which causes him to devote a lot of his time to his work.

“I started marketing [my tax business] right away,” Smith said. “After that, it’s just been the people that I’ve gained as a client will tell somebody. It has just kind of grown. [It gets really busy] in the spring, which is probably one of the reasons kids always ask ‘Mr. Smith, why don’t you coach?’ and I’m like, ‘I would love to, but I know in the spring my time is limited.’ I’m doing taxes from about 4:30 p.m. to about midnight, so I’m putting in about eight hours a day doing taxes, and that’s probably for about 75 days straight.”

Smith said he hopes that through teaching students about the world of money and how to think about and analyze it, they will gain a better understanding of what goes on and will make smart decisions.

“I just want [my students] to be able to gain some type of knowledge about how this process works,” Smith said. “I hope that they find some things that they’re passionate about in the class. The kids that are really interested in something like being a sole-proprietor or an entrepreneur can tap into what I know about it, and then I can give them some guidance if they want to go start their own business and give them some pointers and direction on how to get the ball rolling.”