Dr. Vernon G. Smith
House District 14
State Representative Vernon G. Smith represents the citizens of Indiana House District 14, which included the City of Gary.
Smith was appointed to the House to serve out the term of Earline Rogers, who had moved to the late Carolyn Mosby’s position in the Indiana Senate. Smith, a lifelong resident of Gary, previously served as Fourth District Gary City Councilman from 1972 to 1990.
He is also the Chairman of the House Local Government Committee, and is a member of the Education Committee, the Insurance Committee and the Criminal Code Committee He formerly served as Chariman of the Family, Children & Human Affairs Committee and Chairman of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. Among Smith’s top legislative achievements was sponsorship of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, creation of the Indiana Ombudsman Bureau and legislation awarding good time credit to inmates who get an education.
He is currently Professor of Education at Indiana University Northwest where he has won every teaching award offered on the Northwest Campus. Smith’s professional background includes experience at several public schools in Gary. He was the principal of Williams School from 1985 to 1992, principal of Nobel School from 1978 to 1985, and assistant principal of Ivanhoe School from 1972 to 1978. Smith taught in the Gary Public Schools System between 1966 and 1971.
His own educational background includes a B.S. degree from Indiana University, an M.S. degree from Indiana University, an Ed.D. degree from Indiana University and post-doctorate studies at Indiana University and Purdue University.
Active in several professional and civic organizations, Smith contributes his efforts to the work of the following groups: the Northern Indiana Association of Black School Educators, the Gary Association of School Administrators, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Indiana University Alumni Association, the Northwest Indiana Urban League Board of Directors, and the Phi Delta Kappa fraternity. He is a charter member of the Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Smith also helped found several civic groups, including the Northern Indiana Association of Black School Educators; the African American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc.;the Indiana City-Wide Festival Committee; the Young Citizens’ League; the Vernon Stars; I.U. Dons, Inc.; and I.U. Gents, Inc.
Smith is the recipient of over 200 awards and honors, including the NAACP's Ovington Award, Gary Frontiers’ Marcher’s Award, the I.U. Northwest Alumni Association Division of Education Distinguished Educator Award, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police Appreciation Award, the Methodist Hospital Child and Adolescent Program Appreciation Award, the Brothers Keeper Appreciation Award, and the Indiana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals Service Award.
Smith co-wrote Building Bridges Instead of Walls: A History of I.U. Dons, Inc. He has also written numerous magazine and journal articles. His area of research is focused on the achievement and plight of African American males.