Dr. Amy Smith Appointed as New Dean at St. Thomas University’s School of Education

Amy Smith
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Dr. Amy Smith, an experienced educator who has assisted the university in spearheading multiple programs aimed at expanding Minnesota’s teacher pipeline and removing obstacles to students’ academic performance in the classroom, has been chosen by the University of St. Thomas to be the next dean of its School of Education.

Smith takes up the role of dean with immediate effect. During the past 18 months, she has been the acting dean of the school. During that time, she has been instrumental in the introduction of several noteworthy initiatives, such as the Maxfield Elementary Collaborative Learning School, which serves students in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, and programs that remove financial barriers for students pursuing teaching licenses.

“Dr. Amy Smith is a collaborative leader and relationship builder who brings an infectious enthusiasm about the work happening in and through our School of Education,” said University of St. Thomas President Rob Vischer. “She’s the best person to lead this vital work equipping future teachers to make a difference in students’ lives.”

More than 35 years ago, Smith came to St. Thomas as an undergraduate pursuing a double degree in elementary education and English. In 1993, she taught elementary school and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from St. Thomas. Before receiving her PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 2002, she returned to St. Thomas in 1999 as an adjunct teaching member. She returned to St. Thomas as an assistant professor the next year, but this time for good.

Smith has contributed to the advancement of several programs in the past few years that target underrepresented groups in the classroom. She oversaw the creation of the Maxfield Elementary Collaborative Learning School, which supports a student-centered learning environment, as well as a program that enables high school students to enroll in education courses through St. Thomas’ Dougherty Family College. These are just two examples of the partnerships she helped form with St. Paul Public Schools. She also contributed to the founding of the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed Education (MITIE), which assists educators in recognizing and assisting students in their care who have been traumatized or are currently experiencing trauma.

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