Army veteran's life trajectory goes from missiles to makeovers
By NICK DRAPER | Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Ill. | Published: November 4, 2017
From the military to makeovers, Amy Smith has followed a calling that has netted her the position of administrator of operations for Mr. John's School of Cosmetology and Nails.
Smith, who grew up in Greenfield, said that after graduating from Greenfield High School she prayed on what she should do following school.
It was then she said she received a calling from God to enter the military, and that's exactly what she did.
"I was on a mission from God, it was something I prayed about and it was just where he sent me," Smith said. "I'm not sure why I chose Patriot missile, it just sounded cool at the time but that's where I went. I was in South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana here in the states and I did three and a half years in Germany, about six months in Saudi Arabia and three weeks in Paris."
She was in the Army for six years, from 1992 to 1998, as part of the Patriot surface-to-air missile program. Smith would drive the truck responsible for hauling the missile and getting it ready for deployment.
During her time with the military, Smith was married and had two kids. Not wanting to be in deployment while her kids grew up, Smith returned home to Greenfield and spent her time running a daycare for eight years.
"I enjoyed getting to see different parts of the world but I was glad to be home too, glad to be back," Smith said.
After her time running a daycare, Smith thought about what she was wanting to do, career-wise, and decided she wanted to go into cosmetology. She began school at Mr. John's School of Cosmetology and Nails in 2006, graduated, then spent a brief time in teacher's training before going to the Hair Cuttery in Jacksonville.
She returned to Mr. John's school to finish her teacher training, by request of John Stubblefield, CEO of Mr. John's school. Smith has worked at the school since 2009. During her time with the school, Smith has been a representative of the school at the "Nuts and Bolts Student Business" development course where she learns the latest techniques and brings them back to her students.
Now, Smith has been promoted to become the administrator of operations at the school. While teaching is her passion, and she still will teach classes as part of her position, Smith intends to promote the school in any way she can to make sure people know that the school is available and to bring in more students.
"I want to bring in more people, more students, and let them know that we're here and we have good students who do good work," she said. "They may know that we're a school but they may not know that, for instance, we have a full-service salon available."
Smith continues to live in Greenfield with her husband, Brian Smith, and has four children, Aubrey, 20, Carsan, 12, Darbey, 22, and Derek, 24. She continues to attend the Athensville Baptist Church, where she is the Vacation Bible School director as well as a Sunday School teacher, and continues to have faith that God will keep sending her down the right path.
"I wholly believe that God has sent me on this path," Smith said. "I don't think there's any coincidence, this is where God has placed me. God always provides and always takes care of me."
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