Jess M. Smith

Leader and advocate

Jess Monroe Smith, a native Tennessean, taught at the Tennessee, Michigan, and Indiana schools for the deaf (and coached several varsity teams). A superb editor, he edited the NAD’s flagship publication, Silent Worker/Deaf American, and several other periodicals. Tirelessly active in Deaf Community affairs as a leader and organizer (even while holding full-time jobs), he co-founded TDI and RID. He served as Assistant Superintendent of Indiana School for the Deaf from 1961 to 1989. He participated in the Fulton Tontine that gave the NAD its first major reorganization in 1957, and the “Fulton Revisited” conference in 1989; he never stopped trying to expand, streamline, and improve the NAD. He served as NAD President from 1974 to 1976, and was a longtime member of its Board of Directors (from 1955 to 1978). He chaired the Advisory Committee of Indiana Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services from 1992 to 1997.

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