Retired Lee Professor of Education Dr. Ashley Smith, Jr. was presented the Distinguished Service Award at the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools 43rd Annual Conference.
Dr. Smith received this award from TAMS for his commitment and dedication to Middle Level Education at the local, state, and national levels.
“I have been passionate about advocating for middle grades students at every opportunity during my years as an educator,” said Dr. Smith. “These students are our future, and they must have the best educational experience in middle school for them to become productive citizens.”
At the local level, Dr. Smith served as a principal at Cleveland Middle School for 17 years. Upon his retirement from Cleveland City Schools, he became director of teacher education at Lee University and initiated the middle grades preparation program.
Dr. Smith has served on several Tennessee Department of Education committees which focused on structuring middle level licensure requirements. Additionally, he served on several state boards such as the TAMS Board for 26 years, holding a variety of positions including conference chair and president in 2004.
In 2007, Dr. Smith was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Association for Middle Level Education (formally National Middle School Association) serving as the South Regional Trustee and as president from 2014-2015. Dr. Smith also held the position of co-chair of the local committee for the National Conference in Nashville in 2006.
During his time at Lee, Dr. Smith received the 2019 Department Alumnus of the Year Award for Lee University’s Helen DeVos College of Education.
He earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, his Master of Science from Middle Tennessee State University, his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida, and a two-year degree from Lee College in 1965.