Claremont, Calif. (April 8, 2015)—Pitzer College alumna and trustee emerita Deborah Deutsch Smith ’68 will receive the prestigious 2015 TED/Pearson Excellence in Teacher Education Award this week. A leader in special education and disability policy, Smith will be presented with the award on April 9 during the annual convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in San Diego, CA.
CEC’s Teacher Education Division (TED) and Pearson Publishing confer the Excellence in Teacher Education Award upon an individual who has shown exemplary commitment to various aspects of teacher education, including training special education teachers; preparing future leaders and educators; and conducting research that bolsters legislative leadership, scholarship and services for children with disabilities.
“This national award is the highest honor my professional organization offers,” Smith said. “I can’t tell you how honored and humbled I am by this recognition of my career preparing leadership personnel and teachers to meet the challenging educational needs of all students who struggle, particularly those with disabilities.”
Smith is a professor of special education at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and the director of IRIS at CGU, which works to improve education outcomes for children through evidence-based practices and interventions. She has written a dozen textbooks, including the first interactive e-book to serve as an introduction to special education and Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference, which is in its seventh edition and has been translated into multiple languages.
Over the course of her career, Smith has overseen an array of research projects, which have been supported by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and other institutions, garnering more than $41 million in funding overall.
Smith majored in psychology at Pitzer and earned her doctorate of education at the University of Washington. She received Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and University of Washington’s College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. She is a fellow with the International Association for Research in Learning Disabilities.
Smith joined the Pitzer College Board of Trustees in 1984, serving the College for nearly two decades before being named a trustee emerita in 2003.
The Council for Exceptional Children is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and those who have been identified as gifted.