Collier Smith Honored by City Schools Foundation, Sponsors Include Advance Financial

Murfreesboro, TN, Jan 17, 2020 – Collier Smith’s service to public education is no joke but the gala event honoring her should be fun. The 13th Annual Excellence in Education Gala held on the 24th of January 2020 will honor Smith and feature the Discovery School. Collier Smith will enlist the extraordinary group of civic leaders to be honored by The City Schools Foundation for their support of public education.

Sponsors for the Gala include: Advance Financial, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Adams Family Foundation, Bob and Betsy Murfree, City Tile & Floor Covering Co., David and Brook LaRoche, Ellen K. Slicker, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Evening Exchange Club, Greg and Anna Stewart, Franklin Synergy Bank, Family Practice Partners, Johnson + Bailey Architects, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Republic Services, Dr. and Mrs. Peter Robertson, Tommy and Jeanne Bragg, the Honorable Bart Gordon, Turner Construction, Murfreesboro Anesthesia Group, The LaRoche Foundation, Saint Thomas Rutherford, Volunteer State Bank, SmartBank, Stones River Dermatology, Wilson Bank & Trust, Matt and Katherine Layman, Woodfin’s Funeral Home, and more.

Collier Smith is a community leader who served on the Board of Education for Murfreesboro City Schools for 7 years from 2011-2018. A founding Trustee and Secretary of The City Schools Foundation, Smith chaired the first Excellence in Education Gala honoring astronauts Dr. Rhea Seddon and Hoot Gipson in 2007.

Smith supported the coordination of the Excellence in Education Gala in the initial years. Also, she managed public relations efforts and the Foundation’s fundraising. The Murfreesboro Education Association honored Smith with the Friends of Education Award in 2017.

Brook LaRoche, friend and co-chair of the gala said, “Smith has a fantastic sense of humor and roasting her will be great fun.” He added, “The night will be full of laughter for a great cause.”

For 23 years, Smith and her husband Fant lived in Murfreesboro. They have 3 young children, Sally, Fant, Helen. They attended the Discovery School for their elementary years. Smith co-founded Discovery School’s fundraising organization, the Explorer Fund, which was created to establish a science laboratory for the school.

Smith continues to support the Discovery school where she initiated and continues to conduct Senior Homecoming Parade. In 2016, Smith was honored by the Discovery School Parent Teacher Association with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now at the 13th Annual Excellence in Education Gala, Smith joins former honorees Tommy and Jeannie Bragg, John Hood, Joyce Taylor, John Floyd, Ed and Andrea Loughry, Doug Young, Dr. Sidney and Elizabeth McPhee, Drs. Max and Mary Moss, Dr. Susan Andrews, Rhea Seddon and “Hoot” Gibson, Gloria and Ted LaRoche, and Bart Gordon in receiving this distinguished honor for their support of public education.

The 2020 Gala will highlight Discovery School which is an academic magnet school and home to nearly 400 students situated on Middle Tennessee Boulevard. Ms. Kristina Maddux, principal and Ms. Jessica Snell, assistant principal serve as the administrative team for the school.

MTSU’s new Student Union Center hosts this gala. Brook LaRoche and Stephanie Roach serve as chairs for the Gala. Reservations are now available for the Gala and individual tickets may be bought for $250 and sponsorships begin at $1,500.

About The City Schools Foundation

The City Schools Foundation is a group of civic and business leaders banding together to benefit Murfreesboro City Schools’ pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade students. Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of thirteen schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child. For additional information, please call 893-2313.

About Advance Financial

Founded in 1996, Advance Financial is a leading fintech company based in Nashville, Tennessee. With more than 100 stores in Tennessee and online services in 13 states, Advance Financial provides fast lending decisions on cash loans and other financial services, 24/7/365. Recent recognition includes 2019 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies (8 straight years); A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau; Nashville’s 3rd fastest growing company (2019, Nashville Business Journal); Forbes Best Employers for New Graduates (2018); and, Indeed Top-Ranked Workplace for Compensation/Benefits (2019). Advance Financial is the second-largest family-owned company headquartered in Nashville (2019, Nashville Business Journal). For more, visit

Original Source: Rutherford Source