Ms. Smith has nearly 9 years of teaching experience, and for the past 6 years, she has been teaching Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades at DoDEA schools in Germany and Japan. Her current position is a Literacy Support Specialist on Okinawa. Prior to joining DoDEA, Ms. Smith taught 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades at Pate Elementary School and Spaulding Elementary School in Darlington, S.C. She is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Francis Marion University and her Master of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Phoenix.

Ms. Smith believes to be successful, teachers must build a sense of community within their classrooms and schools and must enter partnerships with parents and community members. "The positive impact on student achievement and morale cannot be underestimated." A parent writes, "When my son entered Kathy's classroom he could not read. It affected his self-confidence and I doubted myself as a parent. She identified areas in which he needed extra help and provided support. My son is now reading above grade level. Kathy helped us both. She is truly a role model and a hero in my eyes."

2009 winner Kathleen Smith
Kathleen B. Smith
Literacy Support Specialist Teacher
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