Dr. Tracy Smith
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
C. Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service in Middle Grades Education Award
North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education
“I chose and continue to choose Appalachian because of its long and rich history and commitment to teaching excellence.”
Dr. Tracy Smith, professor in Appalachian’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction
BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Tracy Smith, professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education (RCOE), has been named the recipient of the 2019 C. Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service in Middle Grades Education Award. The award was presented to Smith at the North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education (NCMLE) 2019 Annual Conference in Greensboro.
The award, which is named in honor of Appalachian Professor Emeritus C. Kenneth McEwin, is presented to an individual (or a school or an organization) who has had a significant, long-term impact on the advancement of middle-level education in North Carolina. The contribution can be in service, leadership and/or research.
“Receiving the award that bears his name from Dr. McEwin himself was more of an honor than I could express,” Smith said. “Like the other early leaders in middle grades education, Dr. McEwin believed decades ago that young adolescents needed a different type of education than was being provided to younger, elementary-aged children and older adolescents in high school.
“For about 50 years, he advocated for developmentally responsive practices for young adolescents and their teachers and families. He is to me, and to many, a legend,” she added.
McEwin served as a professor in Appalachian’s RCOE for nearly 40 years and was also the coordinator of the college’s Master of Arts in middle grades education program. He developed the first middle grades licensure and degree programs in North Carolina and at Appalachian.
Together, Smith and McEwin authored the book “The Legacy of Middle School Leaders: In Their Own Words” (Information Age Publishing, 2011).
Commenting on their research for the book, Smith said, “Fearing that their voices would be lost, we spent 10 years interviewing those leaders of middle grades education and have argued that the middle grades movement was a critical social movement to come out of the 1960s.”
“After some years of teaching students in the (Reich) College of Education, I was able to help cultivate a network of middle grades teachers across the state who continued to stay in touch with me — and with each other,” Smith shared. “What bound us together was a continued conviction that young adolescents possess unlimited potential and promise.”
She continued, “I chose and continue to choose Appalachian because of its long and rich history and commitment to teaching excellence.”
About Dr. Tracy Smith
Smith earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, her master’s in curriculum specialist at Appalachian and her bachelor’s in education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the RCOE faculty in 2000.
In 2017, Smith was awarded the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, and she received the Reich College of Education Outstanding Teaching Award in both 2005 and 2015.
Additionally, she was named the recipient of the Appalachian Student Government Association Outstanding Teacher Award in 2005 and was conferred the College of Education Outstanding Mentor Award in 2014. In 2001, she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).
Her research interests include the following:
- performance-based middle-level teacher preparation;
- the history of the middle school movement;
- the relationship between teaching expertise and student learning; and
- evaluating the depth of student understanding.
Her articles have been published in journals such as the Middle School Journal, Journal of Teacher Education, Clearing House, and Teacher Education and Practice.
To learn more about the NCMLE’s C. Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service in Middle Grades Education Award, click here.
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About the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers a broad range of comprehensive degree programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels. The department seeks to provide quality programs that emphasize the integration of academics and field experiences. Learn more at https://ci.appstate.edu.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at https://rcoe.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.