This month’s spotlight is all about OCHS Curator and Collections Manager, Kayla Smith. Kayla began working at the Osceola County Historical Society as a volunteer in 2016 before she took the position as Curator on her birthday that same year. She spends her free time with her husband, Paul, and their son. She enjoys exploring the outdoors and teaching her son about the world. Kayla spoke with Program Director, Larissa Bixby; let’s see what she said:
LB: What do you enjoy most about your position?
KS: What I love about my position is the exposure to historical artifacts. I have the opportunity to work with and preserve literal pieces of history. Each item has its own story, and I’m so grateful to have the privilege of bringing the pieces together to create a comprehensive narrative.
LB: Why do you think it is important to preserve history?
KS: I truly believe that we need to understand where we came from to know where we are going. Preserving history allows the next generation to learn about their heritage, and I believe it will help them be better people.
LB: What is your personal philosophy?
KS: My personal philosophy in life is to love people. For my career, it is to treat every aspect of being a Curator with as much respect as possible.
LB: What is your personal mantra?
KS: “There’s a reason for everything”
LB: What is your favorite blog or podcast?
KS: ONLY one blog or podcast?? I like to listen to “Stuff You Missed in History Class” and read any blog about natural living.
LB: I love that podcast, what is the best book you have ever read?
KS: One of my favorite books is a Jane Austen classic, Persuasion. I don’t know if it’s the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely a favorite.
LB: What’s your favorite line from a film?
KS: My favorite movie line is actually from a book as well: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. It’s from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I think it’s hysterical that she would write something so honest in a time when women weren’t expected to be honest. She wasn’t as respected as her male peers and I’m in awe of the fact that she could tell the story of an entire time period in one sentence.
LB: It sounds like you’re a big fan of Jane Austen. Besides a good book, what’s one thing you cannot resist?
KS: It is almost impossible for me to resist trivia. I am competitive, and I like to learn new things, and trivia meets both of those.
LB: Where is your favorite place to be?
KS: Hiking in Georgia. My husband and I moved there when we were first married and spent every weekend hiking somewhere in the state.
LB: It sounds like climbing a mountain isn’t a problem for you, but what has been the greatest challenge you have had to overcome thus far in your life?
KS: Being indecisive. I have often missed out on opportunities because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to do them or not. One day, I realized the only regrets I ever had were a result of me not being able to make a decision and missing out on something. After graduating college, I decided (ha!) I wouldn’t allow indecision to rule my life and I am completely happy with the outcome!
LB: Before we wrap up, I have one last question for you. How do you define success?
KS: I think that varies by person, and there can’t be one solid definition. However, for me, success is being able to look at your life and feel peace and a sense of accomplishment.
Photo Courtesy: Kayla Smith