Year Honored: 2005Dulaney High School
At the time of the Award, Kelly Smith was:Teacher/Department Chair
Dulaney High School
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12
Each summer, English teacher Kelly Smith stimulates widespread excitement about reading by turning the entire school community into a book club. Through her "One Book, One Dulaney" program, students, parents and staff select a single book to read, which they discuss afterwards during after-school and evening book talks. This kind of instructional innovation occurs year-round in Ms. Smith's class. Through her Reader's Theater project, students come to understand literature through interpretation and performance, writing, acting and creating poster art for a variety of stories and plays. As chair of the English department, Ms. Smith works with colleagues in her department, as well as teachers in science and social studies, to infuse critical reading, thinking and vocabulary skills across multiple areas of daily instruction. She helped develop and co-chairs Students Organized for Academic Success (SOAR), a program that provides support and assistance to challenged students who have demonstrated potential for academic success. Students in this program have achieved significant academic success in lower- and higher-level courses, and have become members of student leadership organizations. Test scores have soared, and so have students' prospects for academic success beyond high school, thanks to Kelly Smith's creative instruction and leadership.