Remembering Art Teacher and Friend Mrs. Conde

On the night of November 20, Dr. Simmons emailed the school community with a report that has changed students’ lives forever: he confirmed the sudden passing of beloved teacher, Mrs. Lauren Conde.
Mrs. Conde, only 38 years old, was not only an art teacher, but a loving wife, mentor, and mom of two young children. She truly was one who made an effort to connect with all of her students. Teaching at Smithtown East, West, and middle schools, she touched lives all throughout the Smithtown community.
Conde taught several classes including Ceramics, Studio in Art, and Studio in Crafts. This meant that a majority of students who took art instead of music had her here at Smithtown East. She even would recognize some students in the high school after teaching them early on in middle school. She was referred to as kind and an extremely hard worker; those who knew her have nothing but positive things to say about her.
Fortunately, students have their artwork as a keepsake to always remember Mrs. Conde and what she stood for.
Leadership students in the school have organized a week to sell paper hearts with Conde’s name on it; all of the proceeds will go to her family to help them during this time.
Voices of Her Students:
Hannah Shine:
I had Mrs. Conde as a teacher in 9th and 11th grade. She was so passionate about art. I’ll never forget her teaching me how to make stained glass. Whenever I had trouble with a project, I knew I could go to her whenever and wherever no matter what. She was one of those teachers that you could just have a casual conversation with about anything and she would listen. She was so kind and talented; I will never forget the mark she left on my life as well as that she left on others’ lives in the school.
Meghan Hayfield:
There’s a single bag of Acai Dragonfruit Melon green tea that sits in my backpack, everyday reminding me of Mrs. Conde.
While I only had Mrs. Conde for a semester in tenth grade, I couldn’t shake her presence (or abandon my love for clay). So for most of my high school years, I saw Mrs. Conde everyday, whether it was in Ceramics class, during my lunch periods or through my independent studies. Everyday I looked forward to our conversations about our excessive reading– we both were addicted to psychological thrillers– and our shared love of green tea and yoga. She was always there, whether it was to tell me how messy I had left the wheel, or make fun of my obsession with the lilac glaze.
But I hope she is remembered as more than a teacher. She had endless herds of students from years back always around, and she never complained or asked for a period to eat lunch alone. She always, always told the truth about your projects. (If she didn’t like it, you could tell.) She was always there to let you try her new favorite green tea flavor, or just to vent.
To Mrs. Conde: thanks for the book recommendations (Gone Girl was so so good), the tea (the Acai Dragonfruit Melon green tea is now my favorite), and for always being there.