The National Alliance of Black School Educators recently named Patricia Smith, director of federal programs for St. Charles Parish Public Schools, as the recipient of the 2022 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award sponsored by Curriculum Associates.
The award’s Dr. Charles Mitchell, Jr. Leadership Scholarship will support Smith as she continues to pursue a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University.
“We are thrilled that our signature partner Curriculum Associates is again sponsoring this wonderful opportunity for a deserving educator,” Dr. Nardos King, president of NABSE, said. “Education is our core mission, and Patricia Smith will use this opportunity to add to the pool of needed leaders in our field.”
Smith’s 27-year career in education has included roles as an assistant director of summer and graduate placement programs, teacher, principal, coach, curriculum specialist, and now director of federal programs. She said she will continue to work in that role in SCPPS as she continues her doctoral work.
“I am truly honored to receive the Dr. Charles Mitchell, Jr. Leadership Scholarship. This will allow me to complete one of my lifetime dreams of earning a doctorate in educational leadership,” Smith said. “I truly understand the importance of having the right voices at the table when decisions are made that impact the lives of our students. More importantly, I believe those at the table must have the knowledge at a global level to ensure every child understands that education is their civil right and not a gift given to only a few. Colin Powell’s statement ‘what could be more important than equipping the next generation with character and competence’ is what should drive all leaders in an unapologetic way to make intentional moves that create access and opportunity for all students.”
Smith was recognized with the scholarship in December during the 50th Annual NABSE Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. She said it was there that she was able to meet Mitchell, who the award is named after.
“He’s an amazing educator. He’s accomplished a lot,” Smith said of Mitchell. “It was an honor to meet him. It hold me more accountable. I told him, ‘Now your name is attached to me, and I won’t make you look bad.”
Sonya Coleman, vice president of strategic relationships at Curriculum Associates, said Smith is a true role model to both the students and colleagues she serves.
“We believe her desire to further her career and become an even more effective and successful educator is admirable, and we are happy to help support her alongside our partners at NABSE,” she said.