The Cyndi Dailey-Smith and Howard B. Smith Scholarship Fund

The Cyndi Dailey-Smith and Howard B. Smith Scholarship Fund was founded in 2012 to honor the contributions of Cyndi and her late husband Howard to the students of Bigelow Middle School upon her retirement from the Newton Public Schools.

The Purpose

The Cyndi Dailey-Smith and Howard B. Smith Scholarship Fund will ensure that Cyndi and Howard’s impact at Bigelow will carry on into the future. This fund provides support for Bigelow students who might not be able to otherwise participate in cultural and curricular enrichment learning opportunities, such as field trips.

Make a Donation to the Fund


Ms. D and Bigelow

Known affectionately by her students as “Ms. D,” Cyndi was a music teacher and assistant principal in the Newton Public Schools for thirty-five years. After teaching music and music therapy at several elementary schools, she came to Bigelow in 1993 to help reopen the school.

She and her colleagues built the music and theater program into a multifaceted and renowned department. Hundreds of Bigelow students enrolled in her chorus, and scores more participated in her theater productions. In 2003, she became the Assistant Principal at Bigelow, and in this role, she brought her flair and deep dedication to Bigelow students in new ways. She organized creative arts assemblies and chaperoned dances and overnight field trips, she helped guide students and parents through difficult situations with a loving hand, she greeted students everyday with a smiling face as they entered the building, and together with her husband Howard, she founded the Keystone Partners, a model mentoring program involving community volunteers and African American students.

Current-day Bigelow is very much a reflection of Cyndi—a lively, creative, child-centered, caring, spirited, and strong community.

About Cyndi Dailey-Smith

  • Attended Newton Public Schools and graduated from Newton North High School.
  • An educator in the Newton Public Schools for 35 years, including 19 years at Bigelow.
  • Taught music, chorus, theater, music therapy, and life skills at Newton South High School, and Williams, Burr, Oak Hill, Cabot, Mason-Rice, and Franklin elementary schools.
  • Taught music and chorus at Bigelow and was the Assistant Principal for a decade.
  • Directed and produced over 30 musicals and plays.
  • Responsible for naming Bigelow’s bulldog mascot and selecting its purple and white school colors.
  • Received Charles Brown Fellowship and grants from Newton Schools Foundation, Boston University, and other organizations for music projects.
  • Served on executive boards of Plowshares, Inc., and Newton Schools Foundation. Head Nursery Teacher at SPACE Camp for 16 years.
  • A member of the Newton Teachers Association Executive Board, Negotiating Team, and representative at numerous state and national conventions.