FCR Spotlight: Katharine Smith

FCR School Readiness Training Manager, Katharine Smith, is a Durham native that joined the organization in 2019 and is based at the Seminary site.

Tell us about your role?

“I support and encourage teachers by giving them what they need so they can be their best with the children and parents of FCR and so by supporting them I can make a difference as well, when they need it, in the lives of children and families”. She adds that she loves connecting with the parents and connecting in a way that they may feel encouraged, uplifted and not judged. She is a great advocate of two generational work with families and is excited to do more work with the Mom’s and caregivers to support their needs.

Katharine is passionate about her work and stated “You can’t run away from your purpose” to describe her work in the Early Childhood Education space. She has been an instructor at NCCU, an Adjunct Instructor at Durham Tech, a mentor to many and has taught many current and past Head Start staff and administrators. In 2010 she was recognized not only by the Durham Partnership for Children “Champion for Young Children Award but also was highlighted in The Triangle Tribune for her proactive approach to making a difference. She is also a Legacy Honoree for Early Childcare Providers of the Laurence and Artelia Perry Scholarship Fund.

What brought you to FCR?

“I had always been interested in the Head Start model and the population served. After serving as ED at First Presbyterian Day School for 15 years, I looked forward to embracing the holistic philosophy of the Head Start Early Education model and was inspired by the work of Mr. Terry David and how he developed and grew the CHTOP program.”

What is your Educational Background?

Katharine is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of NCCU with dual degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. She also received her MS from NCCU in Child Development.

Katharine’s diverse work and community background includes previous work as a Police Officer, Criminal Investigator and a Fire Fighter. She was an athlete that went to the Olympics for Track and Field and trained under Coach Walker and also worked with the students at Durham School of the Arts where she was the volleyball Coach.

Katharine and her husband of 39 years, Ron, reside in Durham and have 3 adult children and one granddaughter, Reagan.

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