Hundreds Turnout For Smithfield Selma Community Day

Smithfield-Selma teacher Stacy Holland (right) assists Lehlani Micken (center) in a game of corn hole. Standing to their left is Skylar Fraser.

More than 1,100 people came together to show their support for area schools and their community at Smithfield-Selma Strong Community Day at Smithfield-Selma High on Saturday.

The event was put together by the seven Smithfield-Selma area schools: Selma Elementary, South Smithfield Elementary,  West Smithfield Elementary, Wilson’s Mills Elementary, Selma Middle, Smithfield Middle, and Smithfield-Selma High.

Lexi Valle sports a rainbow wig during the SSStrong Community Day.

“This is all about the spirit of camaraderie. We all care about the community we live in and want to support our community,” said event organizer and West Smithfield Elementary Assistant Principal Intern Carson Cataliotti. “It’s great to see so many faces out here united in celebrating the Smithfield-Selma area.”

The mantra “Smithfield-Selma Strong,” or “SSStrong,” recently became a movement in the community to show support for the area schools and all stakeholders.

Cataliotti, along with volunteers and the principals from each of the area schools, began organizing the event in January.

Smithfield Middle’s Rhea Jernigan and Principal Heather Anders show their school spirit at the Smithfield-Selma area community day event held on April 22.

“It’s nice to see all of our hard work planning this event come to fruition,” said Cataliotti. “We get to see kids walking around with ice cream cones or having their faces painted, all for free. It’s nice to see our families be able to enjoy themselves.”

Each of the area schools had a booth on the high school’s football field to promote their school. Other community organizations, such as first responders, churches, and local businesses also had booths set up at the event.

Some of the many free activities available for guests included face painting, hayrides, a photo booth, corn hole, and life-size Jenga and Connect Four games. Groups of students from each of the schools also gave musical performances throughout the day.

Johnston County Public School educators stand together during the SSStrong Community Day. At the microphone is event organizer and West Smithfield Assistant Principal Intern Carson Cataliotti. Behind her (from left) are Selma Elementary Principal Suzanne Jones, South Smithfield Elementary Principal Laura Makey, West Smithfield Elementary Principal Lorrie Johnson, Wilson’s Mills Elementary Principal Andrea Jones, Selma Middle Principal Dr. Chris Kennedy, Smithfield Middle Principal Heather Anders, Johnston County Board of Education members Todd Sutton, Ronald Johnson, Dorothy Johnson, and Teresa Grant, Smithfield-Selma High Principal Stephen Baker, and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Eddie Price.

“There are a lot of people here that are enjoying quality family time, and it’s all for free!” said Valeria Rivas Hernandez, a fifth grade student at South Smithfield Elementary School. “Everyone is enjoying themselves.”

Cataliotti said the schools hope to make Smithfield-Selma Strong Community Day an annual event.