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Lew Smith

Dr. Lew Smith received his BA, MA and School Administration/Supervision Certificate from Brooklyn College and his EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University. He began his career as a social studies teacher in New York City high schools, where his interdisciplinary course in American History, titled The American Dream, became a textbook published by Scott Foresman and adopted nation-wide. Lew Smith served as the principal of a New York City high school; the executive director of America’s first settlement house, a multi-social service agency; and the principal of a suburban junior-senior high school.

Dr. Smith conceived and directed the NYC Middle School Initiative, which ultimately launched middle school reform in 26 of NYC’s 32 community school districts. He facilitated the creation of 82 school-based leadership teams for the Newark, New Jersey school system.

Lew Smith has served as an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Associate Dean, Program Development and Outreach at the Fordham University Graduate School of Education. As a member of the educational leadership faculty, Dr. Smith directed the revision and expansion of the Master’s Program in Educational Administration, which generated more than 200 well-prepared school administrators between 2000-2003. Dr. Smith, working with a Fordham team and external partners conceived and directed a Critical Issues in Education Conference Series, the National School Change Awards, and the National Principals Leadership Institute.

Dr. Smith’s research and teaching focus is on leadership development and school change. He has presented papers and conducted workshops in numerous school districts, at regional conferences, and at national conferences conducted by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA). Four commentaries authored by Dr. Smith have appeared in Education Week.

Dr. Smith has been involved in extensive school restructuring and school design work, including the creation of three small New York City high schools dedicated to the themes of public service and social justice. Additionally, Dr. Smith helped with the restructuring of four K-8 schools and two high schools in Paterson, NJ; the design of a middle school in Baltimore, MD; and the redesign of four secondary schools in Newburgh, NY. He prepared Milwaukee, WI educators for the redesign of all eighteen high schools in their district and facilitated a new Aspiring Principals program for the San Francisco, CA Unified School District. Dr. Smith is married, with four children and one grandchild, all of who have attended public schools. Lew Smith is an avid reader, cook, and vegetable gardener.