The North Moore High School student’s mobility cane tapped against the hallway’s corridor, and when the cane popped the student’s one-on-one guide, she laughed.
“He likes to do that. He’s always having fun,” Tyler Hancock, his one-on-one guide, said.
The cane popped behind him, and Canaan Smith giggled in victory when he tapped another student walking the halls.
Smith, an 11th grader, lost his eyesight before birth from retinopathy of prematurity. He shared blood vessels with his twin, who did not survive.
“I want to be a drummer when I grow up,” Smith said.
His favorite music is classic rock and metal.
“I like Tool and mixing music,” he said about playing on his keyboard at home.
“My favorite thing is math and music,” Smith said.
“He’s amazing,” his teacher, Jaclyn Kennedy, in the self-contained class, said. “He types faster than me.”
“He can work an iPad better than anyone,” Hancock said.
Canaan Smith created art in braille November 16, 2023, at North Moore High School.
The ladies smiled over Smith, and his hands folded together under his tucked smile.
He loves lunchtime with friends Macy and Andrew. They sit together and laugh.
His English lessons are printed in braille, and he answers most of his math calculations in his head.
“He’s great at math,” Hancock said.
“I like math,” Smith said. “My favorite book is “The Dungeoneers.” It’s by John David Anderson—ten hours and fifty-two minutes long.”
The class is learning to cook and will enjoy pizza next week.
“I like peanut butter and chocolate syrup, macaroni, broccoli and sweet potatoes,” he said.
“Texture is a thing for him. He’s particular about what he likes to eat,” Hancock said.
“You do not know how fortunate we are to be here. Everyone loves him. I can’t imagine him being in a school with twelve hundred other students,” his mother, Donna Smith, said about the rural culture. “We go out to eat, and they know him and bring him a Pepsi because they all know what he likes.”
“I ride the four-wheeler with my dad,” Smith said about living in the country on over 20 acres.
“He can attend school here until he is twenty-two or graduate his senior year,” Hancock said.
“We’ll try online college,” Donna Smith said.
Smith lives with his parents, Todd and Donna Smith, in Robbins. They have four children, Brandy, 36, Anthony, 34, Dillon, 29, and Canaan, 16.
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Feature photo: Eleventh-grader, Canaan Smith and his one-on-one guide Tyler Hancock, share a smile November 15, 2023, at North Moore High School in Robbins.
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel journalist Stephanie M. Sellers; BS Mass Communications and Journalist, MFA Creative Writing.