ORANGE – Karen Smith spent a lifetime teaching until her life was cut tragically short. She was from a family of educators – her mother, Irma Sykes, taught for 41 years, and Karen steered her daughter, Jennifer Smith, into the field.
So it was fitting when Brandman University posthumously honored the life-long teacher Sunday, May 21, at commencement ceremonies at Chapman University. Receiving the honor was Jennifer Smith, who was also bestowed with a master’s degree she earned in 2014, but never picked up.
“My mom and I took the master’s program together and began our teaching careers at the same time,” Jennifer said. She added that it seemed only fitting that mother and daughter take this last step together.