Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in Idaho. However, most of our family moved to Idaho from Utah. They founded American Fork. My mother’s father taught math in Spanish Fork. Moving to Utah feels like coming home.

What and where have you studied? 
I studied dance at BYU–Idaho my first year of college. Twenty years and seven children later, my husband and I enrolled at College of Southern Idaho. I majored in elementary education. 

Where have you previously worked?
I worked for Westec Construction in Jerome, Idaho, for 10 years as an administrative assistant, office manager, HR, and full charge bookkeeper. I was hired by MULTIVOICE, and we moved to Utah five years ago. MULTIVOICE is a start-up where I continue to apply these abilities. 

Why did you choose to work at BYU?
I love to associate with people who choose to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is your favorite thing about the McKay School?
The culture of MSE and purposes of education. To be a child’s advocate is a blessing to all.

What was the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
When I was young and everyone around me wanted to be a nurse or a teacher, I only ever wanted to be a good mother—not realizing that being a good mother meant that I would also be required to be a teacher and a nurse.

Mary's favorite family picture, as drawn by her daughter Tiffany.
Smart's youngest daughter drew this and other pictures of the family, and it has since become a family favorite. Courtesy of Mary Smart.

What would you rate 10/10?
We have moved a dozen times and everywhere we have moved, the opportunities and the friends we have made have enriched our life with the insightful experiences they shared with our family. Our friends would easily rate a 10+.

What would be your spirit animal? Why?
I have more of a spirit zoo. This makes it difficult to choose one. I admire the quality of hope in the free flight of birds, the loyalty of the dogs we have raised—not too sure about snakes, rats, and tarantulas though. However, the qualities that were developed in my children as they learned to care for their menagerie have been amazing. 

What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?
What is weird to you might be normal to our family. It was really strange for us to find out that not everyone likes smoked oysters and kipper snacks! The missions our children have served in have introduced other strange foods into our family. I do, however, decline to eat balut. We have raised ducks and had unfavorable experiences with duck eggs. I just couldn’t eat balut.

Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?
Our vacations are primarily camping trips with our children and their families.

What invention doesn’t get a lot of love, but has greatly improved the world?
Indoor plumbing—obvious to the most casual camper.