A 2008 graduate of Old Dominion University with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Dr. Aaron L. Smith has over two decades of experience in the classroom as a mathematics teacher and administrator. His dissertation focused on comparing alternative teaching certification routes to that of traditional teaching certification in conjunction to SOL results.
Aaron has developed a passion for workplace readiness and STEM where he has shared his knowledge as an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University and Christopher Newport University. He received the WHRO Technology Administrator Award and the Crystal Star Award from the National Dropout Prevention Center.
Today Aaron is the proud program administrator at Denbigh High School’s Aviation Academy at the Newport News Williamsburg International Airport where they have received many honors from hosting a live downlink with the astronauts on board the International Space Station to becoming a PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) School by the Society of Manufactured Engineers Education Foundation.
His first book, Awakening Your STEM School enables people to take their current school and modernize it into an elite STEM Site. Blank Check: Recreating America’s Public Schools is his second book where he writes about a principal on a quest to build the perfect public school in St. Thomas.
Highlights from his career
- Working with Virginia’s Joint Commissions of Technology and Science (JCOTS)
- Featured in the Society of Manufactured Engineers #MFGis
- Secondary Business and Industry Partnership State Award with NASA and Aviation Academy June 2015
- ING Unsung Hero October 2014
- Recognized in the Virginia Living Magazine for Aviation Academy as a Top High School and University 2013 (October 2013 issue)
- Awarded over $400,000 in grant monies from local to national entities such as the Arconic Foundation, Wal-Mart, The Kinder Morgan and The Virginia Department of Education
- Awarded Society of Manufactured Engineer’s PRIME Award Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education – October 2013
- 2010 National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Award recipient in Dropout Recovery, Intervention, and Prevention
- SAFE Program is a national model for the National Dropout Prevention Center
- 2006 WHRO Technology Administrator of the Year Award
- Various Speaking Engagements on the local, state and National levels on different Education topics
Some of his published works
- Daily Press (June 11, 2019) Aviation Academy students get nod to build equipment for space station
- Daily Press (December 28, 2018) Newport News Aviation Academy Receives Donated Plane
- Catcat.com (December 27, 2018) The Importance of STEM In Our World
- Teachthought.com (March 18, 2018) Sleeping Giants: 4 Under Appreciated Factors of School Improvement
- Virginia Capitol Connections (Summer 2017) Denbigh Aviation Academy Files Flight Plan for Future Careers10-11
- Daily Press (June 27, 2017) Imagination Taking Flight
- Daily Press (June 23, 2017) Drones Take Off at Aviation Academy at Newport News Airport
- Daily Press (May 26, 2017) After Delays, Aviation Academy’s Plane Taking Shape
- Daily Press (December 20, 2016) US Air Force captain talks to Denbigh students about aviation opportunities for women
- Daily Press (April 23, 2016) Thunderbirds Motivate Aviation Academy
- Manufacturing Engineering (January 2016) – At the Aviation Academy: Attitude = Altitude. Workforce Pipeline 110-111
- Daily Press (December 5, 2015) – Denbigh High School Aviation Academy touts wind tunnel upgrade plans
- Smartblog.com (11.19.15)What makes a great STEM school?
- Smartblog.com (10.22.15)A blueprint that makes for a better employee — a call to action
- Newport News Public Schools (June 24, 2015) NASA and Denbigh High School Earn State Partnership Award from the Virginia Department of Education
- Society of Manufactured Engineers Website (June 23, 2015)- MFGis the Future: Dr. Aaron Smith