My name is Richard Smart and I am a learner, educator and leader who lives a life dominated by the community of Oakland Mills in Columbia Maryland.
In my professional life I am fortunate to serve as a history instructor, leader of a mentoring program, and summer school administrator for the Howard County Public School System, and as a faculty associate for Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
My Goals and Interests
My current goals and interests are centered around four core statements:
- I seek to invest in the students, families and staff connected to Oakland Mills High School desiring to see individuals transformed through an understanding of the world and their own potential.
- I desire to become more culturally proficient and promote understanding between individuals of different backgrounds, and identities.
- I research and implement technology driven solutions to instructional and organizational problems.
- I promote the conversion of data and information into knowledge and wisdom using data-informed decision making.
My life as an educator has been a varied and rewarding journey. In July 2003 I emigrated from the United Kingdom, married and settled to live and work in Columbia. I was educated in England, gaining my BA in Ancient and Modern History from Oxford University in 1999.Subsequently, I trained to teach History at Nottingham University and then served as a History Teacher and second in department at Fairfax 11 – 18 school in Birmingham, England for three years.
In January 2004 I joined the Social Studies staff here at OMHS and have taught Regular, Honors and AP History classes, in US, World History and World Religions. It has been my privilege to teach History every year that I have been teaching. Education has always provided me with a satisfying challenge and I love to see students enjoy history, develop their thinking skills and increase their knowledge of the past and what it means to us today.
For the past five summers I have been working as an Assistant Principal in the Howard County Comprehensive Summer School program. The opportunity to explore leadership, and to serve students of Howard County has been an honor. It is a particular blessing to be able to look out for OMHS students over the summer as well as during the school year.
In 2008 I began working for JHU School of Education as a Faculty Associate teaching their Data Driven Decision Making for Schools and Organizations (DDDM) graduate level course. This opportunity has broadened my organizational perspective through working with students from public school, private school and college backgrounds. I know that I am a better leader and educator after engaging with stimulating materials on DDDM in a rigorous environment. I even even had the opportunity to create an instructional environment in this class for an OMHS teacher.
This year I will continue to lead the home room team and develop the Peer Leaders of Oakland Mills (PLOOM2.0). We are hoping to help students to improve their decision making in the context of meaningful staff-student and peer relationships. I think this is an exciting way to build community and invest in the future of our village.
My professional focus will also include developing my cultural proficiency through continuing professional development classes and implementing a project at Oakland Mills High School.
The 2013/2014 academic year is my fifteenth serving in public education. Let there be many more years and many opportunities to invest in the lives of others.