Centenary MAT graduate wins Teacher of the Year honor

SHREVEPORT, LA — Arcemio T. Smith, a 2018 graduate of Centenary’s Master of Arts in Teaching program with a master’s degree in music education, has been named Teacher of the Year at Judson Fundamental Magnet in Shreveport. Smith is the music enrichment teacher at Judson and moves on to compete for Elementary Teacher of the Year in Caddo Parish.

“The Centenary MAT program caught my attention because it was the only college in the Shreveport/Bossier area that offered an alternative certification and master’s program for teaching in the field of music,” said Smith. “Two MAT courses that have heavily influenced my path as an educator are Philosophy of Education and K-12 Choral Music Methods. Philosophy of Education played a major role in my current method of teaching and my future goals in the field of education, while the methods course has equipped me with the resources necessary to give my young musicians a high quality education.”

Before pursuing his MAT from Centenary, Smith earned a bachelor of arts degree in music performance from Grambling State University. Smith was a member of the World Famed Tiger Marching Band during his collegiate career, serving as section leader on baritone, drill sergeant, and student arranger. He also played for the Grambling Show Band (trombone and piano), the Grambling Jazz Band (trombone), the Grambling Orchestra (trombone and euphonium), and the Grambling Wind Ensemble (euphonium). Smith also served as pianist and bass vocalist for the Strong Tower Gospel Chorale and is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc.

In addition to his career as an educator in Caddo Parish Public Schools, Smith is a musician for Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Church in Shreveport and Bossier City.

“Arcemio was a great candidate in the MAT program,” said Dr. Dominic Salinas, who taught Smith during his first year in the MAT program. “He was always so positive and always had some ‘good news’ to share in class. He worked hard in the Centenary classroom and in his classrooms in Caddo Parish. Arcemio is one more example in a great line of teachers trained at Centenary who will be working hard for children in our community.”

Dr. Michael Hicks, a faculty member in Centenary’s education department, has a unique perspective on Smith’s achievement and effectiveness as an educator. Smith taught Hicks’s son at Judson last year.

“As a member of the department and as a father of one of his students, I can say without a doubt that Arcemio represents the very best of the Centenary MAT program’s Dedicated Educator framework,” said Hicks. “He has not only the fundamental skills but also the crucial empathy to teach the whole child. I am proud and honored to be associated with him as a parent and as a member of Centenary’s education program. Arcemio’s dedication to the teaching profession was apparent when he was at Centenary and we are thrilled that he has also been recognized by the school he serves. He is proof that when Centenary’s Dedicated Educators use the expertise they have acquired, they make a huge impact.”

Centenary’s approach to training teachers is rooted in the four pillars of the Dedicated Educator framework: content knowledge, pedagogy, inquiry, and community and social justice. For more information about Centenary’s MAT program, visit centenary.edu/education.


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