The newest face in the hall

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Curtis Smith of Clanton received the Alabama Association for Career and Technical Education (AACTE) Hall of Fame Award yesterday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

The award – the highest honor bestowed by the association – recognizes a career committed to career and technical education, and is given only to those who have made a significant impact in the field.

Smith spoke modestly about his accomplishment.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “It means a lot to me that they recognized what little I did do.”

Smith devoted most of his career to vocational education (now called career/tech), serving as an agriscience instructor, principal, career/tech counselor, career/tech supervisor and career/tech director.

A large part of Smith’s efforts for career/tech were made in the Alabama House of Representatives, where he served for 20 years. There he supported a bond issue for equipment for career/tech education, and sponsored and co-sponsored an abundance of key legislation in the interest of agriculture.

Smith also worked diligently to pass the school tax referendum for LeCroy Career/Technical Center, which resulted in building improvements, new construction, modern equipment and technology upgrades.

He has served on the Chilton County Board of Education for the past eight years, and currently serves as Board president.

“Representative Smith continues to use his influence to obtain funding for career/technical education,” said Carol Easterling, Chilton County Career/Technical Education Supervisor. “His drive and dedication to career/tech is unmatched to other professionals.”

Smith was nominated for induction into the AACTE Hall of Fame by the organization’s Chilton County Chapter.

“This award is not given every year,” said Becky Pierce, chapter member past AACTE president. “It is only given when the awards committee feels a person meets the high expectations of the award. Not every person who is nominated receives this award.”

Smith expressed appreciation to all who wrote letters in support of his nomination.