The O. Eugene and Mary Scott Smith Memorial Fund was established by their children and grandchildren to honor the Smith's commitment to education. The Fund supports professional development or post-graduate studies (coursework beyond undergraduate studies) for Ritchie County educators, as identified by Ritchie County schools, and/or academic school improvement needs of Ritchie County schools.
Both Gene and Mary Smith were natives of Ritchie County, and both were educated in Ritchie County schools. Mary (1909-2010) had a teaching degree from Salem University and taught at Cornwallis and Cairo before she and Gene (1908-1987) moved to Wood County where Mary also taught for several years. Gene retired from the CSX Railroad System. Gene and Mary instilled their love of education in their eight children who all attended Ritchie County schools. Three of them became teachers. Because of Gene and Mary's influence, there are more than forty college degrees including two doctorates in their large, extended family.
Applications for support from the fund must come from Ritchie County schools; schools can propose projects that involve professional development opportunities and/or post-graduate work for individual teachers or groups of teachers or projects related to academic improvements at the school. Schools must apply using the Foundation's Community Action Grant application.