Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2010 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Bio/Overview: Smith currently teaches Social Studies and Language Arts online Okaloosa Online. During her childhood, studying and learning were valued activities in the Smith household. Smith’s love for learning was formed as she watched the TV nightly news with her family, read the newspaper, engaged in family conversations at dinner, attended church, read all of the Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Tom Swift mystery books, and took piano and organ lessons. Smith has taught both middle and high school social studies and language arts courses in traditional and online classrooms. As a college instructor, Smith has taught both reading and English courses in traditional and online environments. Although her teaching career has spanned twenty-eight years, her work with the US Department of Education was Smith’s most exhilarating, fulfilling, and learning-filled experience. Volunteer service also offers Smith great joy and purpose. In July 2011, Smith’s local library allowed her to establish a peace and genocide studies center dedicated to her parents. She is thankful that her parents set her life in her early years by providing her with values and experiences that encouraged her to develop a strong sense of justice, respect for others, and love for people.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Education is most successful with full, meaningful outreach and engagement among students, teachers, family, and community. Learning is as natural as breathing. Education is successful when one wants to learn as much as one needs to breathe.
Achievements: Smith is National Board Certified in Adolescent/Young Adult Language Arts. She earned the Carl Wilkens Fellowship from the Genocide Intervention Network in 2010, and also received a Partnership Grant from the Florida Humanities Council. She has been an Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization/ Citizen's Advisory Committee: Member from 2009-2012, and was on the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women from 2006-2008 and 2011-2013. Smith is a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum coordinator (volunteer capacity) for Teacher Workshops (AL- 2000-2004 and FL- 2005-present). Smith also received the Mandel Teacher Fellowship from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2000.
Leadership Experience: Smith enjoyed the communication and outreach opportunities spent meeting American educators and stakeholders at conferences of the Boys and Girls Clubs, Future Farmers of America, Title I leaders, AARP, and after-school programs. As a proud representative of ED, Smith embraced policy briefings, sharing sessions, studying of ED publications, and anticipated future learning and service opportunities with ED. Prior to her fellowship with ED, Smith served as a peer leader, technology trainer, school committee chair, and building representative for teacher organizations and union.
Affiliations: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Genocide Intervention Network, Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization, Northwest Florida Heritage Museum, Northwest Florida State College
Education: Smith earned her undergraduate degree in English Education, and has earned two Master’s degrees: one in public administration and one in gifted education.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher outreach
- Online education
- Community engagement in education
- Gifted education
- Post-secondary writing instruction