An interview of Latisha Smith, Children’s Author & Director of Professional Development- St. Louis Public Schools. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

An interview of Latisha Smith, Children’s Author & Director of Professional Development- St. Louis Public Schools. Interview conducted by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Dr. Latisha Smith is very active on the literacy scene in St. Louis. In addition to her full-time duties as Director of Professional Development for the St. Louis Public Schools, Latisha is also the author of many children’s books and an active member of the Missouri Literacy Association Board. MLA is an International Literacy Association board. Here is a sample of some of Latisha’s many community activities:

Latisha reports that having the mayor of St. Louis read her newest book, And the People Carried Signs for this year’s African-American Read Aloud Week, was a real career highlight for her. She also served as the installation officiant for this year’s St. Louis Literacy Association installation ceremonies. Dr. Tracy Hinds, Deputy Commissioner of Learning Services for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, was the keynote for that event. As you will find in the interview, Latisha still finds time to be a mother and the author of many different children’s books. She does an amazing job of facilitating the partnership between the St. Louis Public Schools, St Louis & Missouri Literacy Associations, and the St. Louis Black Authors. Here is a link to the interview, followed by time-stamped highlights from the interview.


Tell Us about yourself

As a person                                                     01:45                                     

Professionally                                                   02:17

Tell Us about the partnership between SLPS

and ILA/St. Louis Black Authors (especially

the many events speakers and P.D.)                  07:45

Tell Us about your book.                                         12:18

Any final remarks?                                                   15:00

Be sure to visit Latisha’s website LINK. Here are just some of the books you will find on that website:

It was a real pleasure to talk to Latisha again. As indicated in the interview, I got to know her very well when I worked for the St. Louis Public Schools as a reading specialist and staff developer. In addition to still working with Latisha on the MLA board, I also participate with her in the bi-annual BTAP program, which provides beginning teachers in St. Louis with PD in order to help them get a good start to their teaching careers. That program is organized by Dr. Betty Porter Walls, another MLA board member. Latisha works hand in hand with MLA and St. Louis Black Authors to provide various P.D. opportunities to teachers. Incoming MLA president, Julius Anthony, has played an important part in keeping the partnerships alive and well.

In the coming weeks, I will continue my interviews with various literacy leaders. I will also continue to do op-ed pieces advocating for centrist-based reading practices. So…, until next week, Happy Reading and Writing!

Dr. Sam Bommarito, aka the centrist who uses ideas from all sides to inform his teaching

Copyright 2022 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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