In 1997, Renee was asked to fill-in and play the piano for the MVUMC Easter Cantata. She has been around ever since that day! She began as the pianist but shortly after added Choir Director to her title. When she retired from teaching school, she added the Administrative Assistant position as well.
Renee grew up in the Church and has always been very involved in it’s activities. She gave her life to the Lord when she was just 10 years old. For many years, she followed 1Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone think little of you because you are young. Be their ideal; let them follow the way you teach and live; be a pattern for them in your love, your faith, and your clean thoughts.” She lost her father, Legrande Highsmith, at a young age, but her mother, Edith, kept the family together and strong, deep rooted in her Christian faith. Her mother taught her to work hard and “always give 110%.” Through her influence and guidance, Rene excelled academically and musically.
Renee received her Bachelor of Music and Art from Western Carolina University. She worked on her Masters of Educational Administration & Supervision Degree at Western Governor’s University. She’s taught Chorus, Drama, Music education and Art education for 22 years in all levels of education. Renee loves being on the stage and has been in many musicals and operas. She is now involved with “Subject 2 Change”Gospel Group. The group consists of Keith Smith, Rachel Dotson and Renee. They love singing for the Lord and sharing their talents with congregations everywhere.
Renee and her husband Jeff have four children, Autumn, Austin, Jesse and David. They have two grandchildren, Laylen and Brysen. Jeff is a detective for the Maggie Valley Police Department and has always supported and encouraged her in any of her endeavors throughout the years.
Renee’s life summed up in one quote:
“I am loved by the King and it makes my heart sing.”