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I had some fantastic teachers. Their instruction and guidance was transformative, and their impact was generational in our community. However, the students I taught did not have that same access to great teaching, and teachers rarely stayed more than a couple of years. I do this work because I believe all students, especially low-income students and students of color, deserve the same consistent access to truly transformative teaching. I also believe we need to give teachers a reason to stay and thrive in the profession – they should have opportunities to advance in their careers, earn what they deserve, and continue sharing their gift for years to come. The Opportunity Culture initiative makes that happen.”
Mr. Smith is a consulting manager with Public Impact, focusing on assisting districts and schools in implementing Opportunity Culture models, which extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams. In his Opportunity Culture work, he leads a team of consultants who work with district leaders to create new career pathways for teachers, implement a rigorous and research-based selection process, design new school models for teacher leadership, reallocate budgets to sustainably fund positions, and monitor progress throughout implementation. In addition, Mr. Smith has deep expertise in education policy and analysis, and he also works on projects related to strategic policy advising, school finance, and high-quality charter schools. Before joining Public Impact, Mr. Smith taught high school English and social studies in Memphis, Tennessee, serving as a Teach for America corps member. Mr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy and Arabic from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which he attended as a Morehead-Cain Scholar, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Example projects: Mr. Smith’s recent work includes supporting Opportunity Culture implementation and teacher residency design in several district cohorts throughout Texas. He also led Opportunity Culture design with a cohort of charter management organizations in Memphis, and he launched the Arkansas Department of Education’s first Opportunity Culture district cohorts. Mr. Smith recently co-authored a supporting report for North Carolina’s Leandro action plan, and he has conducted additional policy projects for clients such as EdNC, the National Center for Teacher Residencies, and Building Pathways, a charter school facility incubator.