Roslyn Johnson Smith is the second child and first daughter in a family of twelve children born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Smith’s early education was in the segregated Catholic schools in New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, a Master of Education degree in Learning Disabilities, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration, all awarded by the University of New Orleans.
During a 32-year career in New Orleans’ public education system, Dr. Smith taught elementary grades and special education classes, and served as a school-site curriculum coordinator before moving to administrative assignments. She worked for a brief stint as Director of External Grants and Professional Development in the district’s central office. For 22 years, she was principal of Oretha Castle Haley Elementary School, a high poverty, high minority urban school. In 1993, she was elected President of the Principals’ Association of the New Orleans Public Schools, Inc. During her tenure, she was named the Louisiana Elementary Principal of The Year and recognized as a National Distinguished Principal in 1995. Before retiring in November of 2005, Dr. Smith’s last position was that of Area Superintendent where she was the immediate supervisor of the district’s lowest performing schools, the Signature high school centers and the organizer of thirteen 4-member instructional support teams.
Currently, Dr. Roslyn Smith is the CEO and President of A+ Professional Educators, LLC, an independent educational consultant company. Her work experience includes developing administrative plans for charter schools and conducting professional development workshops for educators.
Her hobbies include creating Black/Mardi Gras Indian suits for her two grandchildren, photography, and researching her family’s genealogy. A strong supporter of black filmmakers, Dr. Smith has donated funds to support several young artists, some of whom have received award-winning acknowledgements in the industry.