ROHS to honor distinguished alum

Sylvia Stanford Smith chosen by Alumni Association, will be recognized at homecoming

Daily Light report
Sylvia Stanford Smith as a star basketball player for Red Oak High School. She will be honored as this year's Red Oak High School Alumni Association outstanding alumnus during ROHS' homeecoming festivities on Friday.

RED OAK — Since 2004, the Red Oak High School Alumni Association has selected and celebrated a Distinguished Alumni. This year’s recipient is Sylvia Stanford Smith, a 1954 graduate.

A native of Red Oak, Sylvia attended school here all 12 years. She was a member of the girls basketball team that represented Red Oak twice in state playoffs.

After graduating from high school Sylvia began working. She worked at Chester Clinic in Lancaster for 20 years and was a rural mail carrier for the Red Oak Post Office for the next 20 years. After retiring in 1997, she was business manager at KBEC 1390 radio station in Waxahachie for nine years. She was also known as Ms. Ellie, a radio personality.

Sylvia Stanford Smith

Married to Dick Smith in 1959, they owned the Red Oak Shell Station and Wrecker Service. Their two children, Neil and Leslie, also graduated from ROHS. Sylvia’s son, Kevin Stanford, is another family Hawk alum. Kevin was selected DA in 2009. Sylvia also has 2 stepdaughters, Grace and Sue, 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Retirement isn’t something Sylvia has truly ever done. She’s been active and continues to serve in many school, community and county organizations. The list is lengthy and interesting.

She is now serving as Chairman of the Ellis County Historical Commission, President of the Ellis County Genealogical Society, Chairman of the Ellis County Woman’s Building board and Vice-President of the Ellis County Museum board, having been a past President.

The current Chairman of the Ellis County Child Welfare Board, Sylvia is also Vice-President of the Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm. She serves on boards for the Lancaster Genealogical Society, Pleasant Run Daughters of the American Revolution, Rebecca Boyce Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association.

In 2013, Sylvia was presented the Mable Frame Award by the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce for her contribution relating to tourism. In 2015, she was recognized by Historic Waxahachie Inc. (HWI) with The Historic Preservation Leadership Award. There is a plaque on display at Ellis County Museum noting this honor. That same year she was crowned as Crape Myrtle Queen and received The John Ben Sheppard County Historical Commission Leadership Award by Texas Historical Commission and Preservation Texas.

Sylvia also serves today as the volunteer coordinator at the Ellis County Museum and as secretary for the ROHS Alumni Association board.

Sylvia will be the Grand Marshal for this year's Homecoming Parade taking place Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. The ROHS Alumni Association will be honoring Sylvia with a reception at the 6th Grade Center at 5:30 p.m. Friday prior to the Homecoming game, and then the group will attend the Hawks football game that evening at 7 p.m. and she will be honored at halftime.

All alumni interested in joining the festivities should contact Laura Kelly at or visit the website at