Christopher R. Smith, Ed.D.
Christopher R. Smith has dedicated his life to improving the accessibility of education for all children. For two decades, his focus has been on ensuring that children succeed and achieve their dreams. He began his career with the New York City Department of Education, holding the positions of Student Aide, College Student Intern, Special Education Teacher, Coordinator of Student Activities, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal and Principal. Dr. Smith has worked in a comprehensive 9-12 high school, a transfer school (alternative high school), and is currently working at a secondary school for grades six through twelve.
Dr. Smith was hired on June 3, 2021, to serve as the fifth principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men III of Southeast Queens. Eagle Academy for Young Men III is a single-gender institution, located in the heart of Southeast Queens. It currently serves 400 young men in a three story building that was previously occupied by the St. Alban’s Allen Christian School. Eagle’s mission is to develop young men who are committed to the pursuit of academic excellence, strong character, and responsible leadership.
Since being appointed as principal, Dr. Smith, in collaboration with the School Leadership Team (SLT), has begun to develop a 10-year strategic plan to improve the school community, one which ensures that all scholars are globally conscious and globally competitive. A major focal point of his leadership is to motivate and support staff members, families, and community members while developing a system that works with and engages scholars. Dr. Smith believes it is important that all adult stakeholders become restorative practitioners, who are willing to prepare scholars to meet the demands of an ever-changing economy, and that children must be at the core of their work.
The impact of Dr. Smith’s work includes, but is not limited to, a reduction in suspensions for black and brown children, an increase of community partnerships, and an improvement in state assessment data on New York State Regents examinations. He also collaborated with parents to improve their connections to the school community and strengthened operational systems aligned to the instructional framework. Dr. Smith strives to make The Eagle Academy for Young Men III of Southeast Queens a premier, urban, college preparatory secondary school for young men of Southeast Queens. Dr. Smith is proud of the young men that graduated in 2021 from Eagle Academy for Young Men III; 100 percent were accepted to colleges and universities around the country.
Dr. Smith’s philosophy will resonate for generations to come. He believes all members within a school community must understand their purpose in addition to understanding the importance of building meaningful relationships to improve student achievement. In addition, they must take into account those things that make our children so brilliant and talented. He continues to work with educators to create culturally responsive restorative school communities. He believes schools should be designed for every child in their care.
As an administrator, Dr. Smith has overseen a $22 million annual operating budget, supervised over 300 pedagogical and non-pedagogical staff members and up to 3000 students, and procured and administered a $2 million grant for 21st Century. This includes $500,000 for Small Learning Communities, Smart Scholars Early College grant, and over $2 million in Title 1 grant funding. His involvement in all aspects of the facilities $30 million capital projects include, a library media center, science lab, upgraded technology infrastructure, health clinic, indoor greenhouse, state of the art music studio, air-conditioning unit for the auditorium, and two new elevators.
Dr. Smith, as adjunct professor at Touro College, has been instrumental in revising the Curriculum Development and Classroom Management course, which prepares aspiring teachers to be culturally responsive restorative educators and to use an equity lens to develop culturally responsive restorative communities. In this course, pre-service teachers are challenged to intentionally plan for all children, regardless of their background. The highlight of this course is that all aspiring teachers are designing lesson and unit plans that differentiates learning opportunities to meet the needs of all children.
Dr. Smith has served on numerous committees and organizations such as The Adelaide L. Sanford Brooklyn Education Collective, the Blueprint Coalition 2020, Coalition of Black Educators and Legislators, Touro Curriculum Development Departmental Team, Teacher College Convening with Black Education Research Collective, The Antioch Development Corporation, CSA Black Caucus, NYC My Brother’s Keeper committee, Phi Delta Kappa, Boys and Girls HS Alumni Association and the CEC District 29 Taskforce to develop a strategic plan.
Dr. Smith volunteers as a mentor to school leaders, aspiring leaders, teachers, and advises organizations throughout New York City. He has been recognized by several organizations for his professional contributions. Additionally, he is mentored by prominent educators from around the field of education.
Dr. Smith is a native of Brooklyn, and now resides in Queens, New York. He proudly serves as the Director of the Adelaide L. Sanford Institute and a principal for The Eagle Academy Network. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Touro College.
Dr. Smith earned a Doctoral Degree in Education (Ed.D.) from Sage College with a concentration in Educational Leadership; a Master of Science Degree (M.S.) from Touro College, and a Bachelor of Science from Oswego State University. Additionally, he earned his New York State School Building and District Leadership certifications from The College of Saint Rose.