• Dr. Ashley Smith
    Dr. Ashley Smith Jr.
    Professor of Education Dr. Ashley Smith joined Lee’s Helen DeVos College of Education (HDCOE) in 2005 as the director of Field Experiences. The following year, he began directing the Teacher Education Program. He provided leadership in developing the middle-grades licensure program at Lee in 2007 and has continued to shape licensure requirements for middle level educators in Tennessee.

    “Dr. Smith is the face and integrity of our Teacher Education Program,” said Dr. Bill Estes, dean of the HDCOE. “His excellent work nationally on accreditation, across the state with licensure standards, and locally with teacher development is recognized by all as coming from a committed professional of teacher education.”

    Smith has served in numerous professional organizations and on state education committees. The Association for Middle Level Education has more than 39,000 members from across the United States and 15 other countries, and Smith has served the AMLE as the South Regional Trustee from 2007-13, president-elect from 2013-14, president from 2014-15, and past-president from 2015-16.

    He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools (TAMS) for 19 years, the last seven as liaison between TAMS and AMLE. Additionally, he was elected to the Executive Council of the National Middle School Association’s Board of Trustees.

    Smith regularly teaches classes such as “Foundations of Middle Grades Education,” “Middle Grades Foundations,” and “Leadership in the Middle Level School.”

    Prior to his arrival at Lee, Smith served as the supervisor of middle grades and grants for the Cleveland City School System and as principal of Cleveland Middle School for eighteen years. While there, he implemented the middle school philosophy which resulted in changes in the delivery of the curriculum and teaching styles. He also served as the principal of Blythe Avenue Elementary School, and as a teacher at Cleveland High School.

    He has served on the Board of Directors or as a trustee for the Cleveland Rotary Foundation, the Cleveland-Bradley Keep America Beautiful, Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Committee, and the Cleveland-Bradley Teachers Federal Credit Union.

    He holds an EdD in educational leadership from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, an MS in biochemistry from Middle Tennessee State University, and a BS in chemistry from the University of Florida.

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