Muriel A. Smith is a Program Manager at Deans for Impact. Prior to joining DFI, Muriel has served as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and the program director for a non-profit focused on educational equity. She received a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her masters degree in Instructional Practice from Lipscomb University.

When/why did you start working in education?

The summer after my junior year of college I worked at a summer program in my hometown teaching a class called “global connect” to middle school students. I loved planning for class, teaching, connecting with families, and getting to know my students. In that experience I found such a clear alignment between my gifts and the work of the role. I knew then that I wanted to become a teacher and I have been working in education ever since.

Why were you excited to join Deans for Impact?

I was first drawn to Deans for Impact because I was inspired by the mission of the organization. I am aligned with their belief that transformational change in service of educational equity is both possible and necessary. Additionally, the thoughtfulness of members of this team and the quality of their work made me excited to join DFI.

Why do Deans for Impact's guiding principles ring true for you?

One of our core values is to be good stewards. In education, it is never lost on me that families are trusting us with their children. They trust educators to teach, support, and care for some of the most important people in their lives. It takes a village to actualize this vision. All the work we do at Deans for Impact is centered around being good stewards of the responsibility of educating young people well.

Who was your favorite teacher, and why?

My favorite teacher is Ms. Davis. She was my third grade teacher. Her class was such a great blend of high expectations and creative discovery. We were required to memorize our book reports and they were recorded. At the end of the year we got a VHS tape with all our presentations on it. I remember how proud of myself I was watching my presentations at home with my family. I still have that VHS tape! We also took on fun projects like sewing and watching chicks grow in the incubator. In my years as a teacher, I kept Ms. Davis in mind because I wanted my students to experience the same joy for learning and pride in their work that I cultivated in her classroom.

What's your favorite food truck, and why?

Oak City Fish and Chips is my favorite food truck! I think I cried when I had their lobster pop. So good!

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