Mother of 7 files for Tyler ISD board spot

Published on Friday, 7 March 2014 20:26 - Written by Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

Tyler resident Barbara A. Smith has filed to run for the Tyler ISD school board.

Ms. Smith, 66, is seeking the District 5 trustee position. She will face at least one opponent: Tyler pastor Ross Strader, who also filed to run for that position.

Strader holds the seat after being appointed in late December to replace board member Brad Spradlin, who resigned.

Whoever wins the District 5 seat in the May 10 election will complete Spradlin’s unexpired term, which ends in May 2015.

Ms. Smith is a former educator and mother of seven children, six of whom attended TISD schools. All went on to become professionals and several attended top higher education institutions, she said.

“I saw the impact that TISD had on my children,” she said. “So, I want to invest in other children.”

Ms. Smith taught at Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School for five years and substituted in TISD for about 20 years.

She also owned and operated a community newspaper, Megaplex Heritage News, for five years and is an author, having written nine books.

She served on the Bishop Gorman school board for three years, and said she has a passion for education.

“I believe in the spirit of excellence,” she said. “A child can do whatever they want to do.”

She said she would like to see parents be more involved in education and encourage students to know there is no limit to what they can accomplish.

Her daughter, Claris Smith, a Tyler resident and 2002 John Tyler High School graduate, said her mother has a history of service in the community and at her church and always has helped and encouraged parents in the process.

“She’s been passionate about education for her whole life, and now she’s trying to take the next step,” Claris Smith said.

Ms. Smith is a member of Tyler Metro Church and is married to Arthur Smith, a Tyler Junior College professor.

The last day to file to run for the District 5 seat is Monday. The board secretary’s office in the TISD Administration Building, 1319 Earl Campbell Parkway, will be open from 2 to 5 p.m.