Katy Smith

Katy Smith is a Professor of Secondary Education and serves as Chair of the Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. She began her affiliation with the Illinois Writing Project while she was teaching high school students, and now--along with Steve Zemelman--serves as one of the IWP’s two Directors.

During her twenty years as a high school teacher, Katy developed and taught in an innovative interdisciplinary program for ninth graders. This program was devoted to supporting all students’ growth and learning; with her program teammates, Katy was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education as a “Those Who Excel” award recipient.

As a teacher educator, Katy focuses her pedagogy and scholarship on preparing future and practicing teachers to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all the students in their classrooms. At the same time, she works to equip teachers to see themselves as agents of positive change in their schools, as well as in education and society more broadly.

Katy’s scholarship has been published in The Journal of Curriculum Studies, Teachers’ College Record, Educational Leadership, and The International Journal of Education & the Arts, among others. She has the received two Faculty Excellence Awards for her service to Northeastern Illinois University and is a frequent presenter at national, state, and local conferences, including NCTE and AERA.

In addition to her work as an educator, Katy is active in area theater as a dancer and choreographer. She has two terrific sons and two equally terrific daughters-in-law; her wonderful GrandGirl and GrandBoy light up her life.

Katy Smith


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