Birmingham School Board Representative Sonja Smith

Birmingham School Board Representative Sonja Smith Birmingham City Schools district 8 representative serving all 42 schools & 99 neighborhoods. Sonja Smith is a native of Birmingham, AL. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, AL) and continued her studies at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA) where she earned a Master’s in Music (MM) with a concentration in Piano Pedagogy.

After graduating from LSU, Sonja moved to Chicago, IL where she was a teacher at A.C.E. (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Technical Charter High School on the Southside of Chicago. Sonja started at ACE as a substitute teacher before she was hired full-time to develop a group piano program. This was the first music program in the school. In addition to teaching group piano, Sonja was also a Seminar instructor. Seminar was a new concept, so she was on the cutting edge of developing that curriculum for all students at A.C.E. She served as Lead Teacher for the Seminar department and was a member of the Instructional Support Team. It is because of her experience at ACE that Sonja is opposed to charter schools in Birmingham. Recognizing that freshmen girls needed additional support, Sonja helped form GRACE, a girls' group designed specifically for freshmen that focused on self-esteem, career opportunities, health issues, and an appreciation of the arts. She also coordinated the development of the Student Council and Senior Class Officers, with a goal to mold and empower student leaders to be advocates for themselves and their peers, plan students' social activities, and participate in community service events. Sonja left A.C.E. to teach at Malcolm X College, a City College of Chicago. At Malcolm X, Sonja taught lecture classes in Music History/Music Appreciation and the applied arts class of Group Piano. She incorporated technology in the class using a variety of media. She was selected to complete a coveted Faculty Development Seminar on student learning objectives, active learning styles, and classroom assessment techniques. All while teaching at A.C.E. and Malcolm X, Sonja also taught private piano lessons after school and on weekends. Upon her return to Birmingham, AL, Sonja continued teaching, but merged her passion for students with her love for tennis. During this time, she was the 10-and-Under-Coordinator for USTA Southern. In this role, Sonja trained and hired staff to teach group tennis with her to children after schools and on weekends around the Birmingham area. She currently serves as Project Coordinator for Enroll Alabama, a project of AIDS Alabama. Enroll Alabama is a project that Sonja and her staff built to be the leader in knowledge and resources regarding the Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Marketplace. Enroll Alabama is a federally funded Navigator grantee that has been working with the ACA since the first Open Enrollment. Enroll Alabama has a goal to educate Alabamians about the ACA and enroll consumers in health insurance via the Health Insurance Marketplace, All Kids, or Medicaid. With the main office in Birmingham, AL, there are satellite offices around the state in Huntsville, Anniston, Auburn, Mobile, Montgomery, Dothan, and Selma. From those locations, Enroll Alabama is able to service all 67 counties in Alabama. All services provided by Enroll Alabama are free.

After graduating from LSU, Sonja moved to Chicago, IL where she was a teacher at A.C.E. (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Technical Charter High School on the Southside of Chicago. Sonja started at ACE as a substitute teacher before she was hired full-time to develop a group piano program. This was the first music program in the school. In addition to teaching group piano, Sonja was also a Seminar instructor. Seminar was a new concept, so she was on the cutting edge of developing that curriculum for all students at A.C.E. She served as Lead Teacher for the Seminar department and was a member of the Instructional Support Team. It is because of her experience at ACE that Sonja is opposed to charter schools in Birmingham. Recognizing that freshmen girls needed additional support, Sonja helped form GRACE, a girls' group designed specifically for freshmen that focused on self-esteem, career opportunities, health issues, and an appreciation of the arts. She also coordinated the development of the Student Council and Senior Class Officers, with a goal to mold and empower student leaders to be advocates for themselves and their peers, plan students' social activities, and participate in community service events. Sonja left A.C.E. to teach at Malcolm X College, a City College of Chicago. At Malcolm X, Sonja taught lecture classes in Music History/Music Appreciation and the applied arts class of Group Piano. She incorporated technology in the class using a variety of media. She was selected to complete a coveted Faculty Development Seminar on student learning objectives, active learning styles, and classroom assessment techniques. All while teaching at A.C.E. and Malcolm X, Sonja also taught private piano lessons after school and on weekends. Upon her return to Birmingham, AL, Sonja continued teaching, but merged her passion for students with her love for tennis. During this time, she was the 10-and-Under-Coordinator for USTA Southern. In this role, Sonja trained and hired staff to teach group tennis with her to children after schools and on weekends around the Birmingham area. She currently serves as Project Coordinator for Enroll Alabama, a project of AIDS Alabama. Enroll Alabama is a project that Sonja and her staff built to be the leader in knowledge and resources regarding the Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Marketplace. Enroll Alabama is a federally funded Navigator grantee that has been working with the ACA since the first Open Enrollment. Enroll Alabama has a goal to educate Alabamians about the ACA and enroll consumers in health insurance via the Health Insurance Marketplace, All Kids, or Medicaid. With the main office in Birmingham, AL, there are satellite offices around the state in Huntsville, Anniston, Auburn, Mobile, Montgomery, Dothan, and Selma. From those locations, Enroll Alabama is able to service all 67 counties in Alabama. All services provided by Enroll Alabama are free.

Operating as usual

Teachers! Our friends at Vulcan Park and Museum are offering free webinars for PD credit on a variety of timely topics. ...
10/27/2020
Last Chance for FREE PD this week!

Teachers! Our friends at Vulcan Park and Museum are offering free webinars for PD credit on a variety of timely topics. They kick off the series on Thursday the 29th at 5 pm with a presentation by Bettina Byrd-Giles and Dr. Tara White on inclusive histories and classrooms called “Bursting Cultural Bubbles.”

Click here to register for the webinar and to peruse the catalogue of free offerings throughout the year.

And share this far and wide. Vulcan is known for its professional development. It’s not often you get this sort of high quality experience at no charge!

https://mailchi.mp/bf4d33647ca0/last-chance-for-free-pd-this-week

Just a few days left to register for our upcoming webinar "Bursting Cultural Bubbles" with Dr. Tara White and Bettina Byrd-Giles!

Wishing all teachers a smooth, sanitized, and comfortable return to our buildings today.
10/26/2020

Wishing all teachers a smooth, sanitized, and comfortable return to our buildings today.

We ❤️ Dr. Daniels!
10/23/2020

We ❤️ Dr. Daniels!

BCS salutes Princeton Elementary Principal, Dr. LaTausha Daniels, who is a breast cancer survivor. Dr. Daniels decided to share her diagnosis “to encourage others to be intentional about your health. I almost skipped my routine mammogram,” she said. Knowing your family health history, getting tested and early detection is key and Dr. Daniels believes she is in remission today because she listened to her inner voice and turned back for her screening. This mom of 3 is a 19-year educator who has continued to work to ready her school for students to return. She is also founder and CEO of a mentoring group for girls ages 10-18. “I just love helping people. Helping people become their best selves is my joy.”

We're making plans for a  #BCSSafeReturn to in-person learning. All Birmingham City Schools teachers and staff will begi...
10/22/2020
Dr. Mark Sullivan " Return to School" - from Superintendent, Dr. Mark Sullivan "Return to School"

We're making plans for a #BCSSafeReturn to in-person learning. All Birmingham City Schools teachers and staff will begin their return on Oct. 26. Students will have a phased-in return with blended learning beginning Nov. 9. The school year began with remote learning on Sept. 8. Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan provides details here.
https://livestream.com/bcs/events/9361536/videos/212337877

Superintendent, Dr. Mark Sullivan "Return to School" by Birmingham City Schools on Livestream - Livestream.com

This. Is. Amazing!
10/20/2020
Famed Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Announces Free Virtual Season

This. Is. Amazing!

This will be magical! The famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater announced a free virtual season of works slated for this December, Playbill reports. The theater company will offer several works paying homage to six decades of Ailey’s Revelations. New pieces presented include Testament, a modern...

Know when, where, and how to vote in Jefferson County!
10/13/2020

Know when, where, and how to vote in Jefferson County!

Are you registered to vote?

Love seeing our teachers in action!
10/12/2020

Love seeing our teachers in action!

Our teachers are giving it their all to make sure our scholars stay engaged. Even with remote teaching and learning, their dedication is truly unmatched and very much appreciated! #BCSStrong

Mrs. Salter at Central Park Elementary needs your support!
10/06/2020
Comfy Chairs for Kiddos, a project from Mrs. Salter

Mrs. Salter at Central Park Elementary needs your support!

Help me give my students chairs to sit at while doing their classwork. I am a teacher in a low-income, high poverty school where my students are faced with several challenges both in and out of the...

Parents! Make sure your voice is heard.
10/06/2020

Parents! Make sure your voice is heard.

Your Voice is Important
Attention: Birmingham City Schools Faculty and Staff, BCS is preparing for a return to in-person teaching and learning, and your input is needed. Please click https://buff.ly/3jA8viP and complete the survey by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 12.

If you missed your pickup, be sure and schedule a time during the makeup day Friday.
09/30/2020

If you missed your pickup, be sure and schedule a time during the makeup day Friday.

Ramsay High School is holding device distribution for 10th graders today starting at 9 a.m. Please view flyer for pick-up times for each grade and makeup days. To expedite distribution, parents are highly encouraged to complete the online paperwork and registration on the school’s website.

Birmingham City Schools
09/30/2020

Birmingham City Schools

Birmingham City Schools will establish targets and goals, track progress, assure accountability and engage parents and the community to help us spread the message that good attendance matters, as well as help us come up with solutions to ensure all children are present to learn. #schooleveryday #BCSStrong

❤️🖤❤️🖤❤️
09/26/2020

❤️🖤❤️🖤❤️

We’re recognizing Ms. Jasmine Story, an outstanding 2nd grade teacher at Princeton Alternative School, for her commitment to helping educate the children in our communities. Since the pandemic, Ms. Story has been in constant communication with her students and parents to help with the remote learning process.
Photo cred: Fred Davenport, WVTM 13 News

09/25/2020
Birmingham City Schools

The deadline is Wednesday! Complete your census today! It only takes 3 minutes.

A message from #BCS Board Member Sonja Smith on the importance of the #2020Census. The deadline to complete the census is Sept. 30, 2020. To learn more, visit 2020census.gov.

• @bhmcityschools Birmingham City Schools is providing students hot lunches and breakfast for the next day five days a w...
09/23/2020

• @bhmcityschools Birmingham City Schools is providing students hot lunches and breakfast for the next day five days a week from 11 a.m-12:45 p.m. Meals are available for pickup or curbside drive-thru at all 42 BCS schools and additional locations. Visit https://buff.ly/2RaSF1E to find a site near you.

💙❤️💙❤️💙
09/19/2020

💙❤️💙❤️💙

Carver Volleyball Senior Night vs Parker! #senior2021 #GirlPower

Heartbreaking to hear this news. Praying for the family of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. May she rest in peace. 💔💔💔
09/19/2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

Heartbreaking to hear this news.
Praying for the family of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
May she rest in peace. 💔💔💔

Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, died from complications from cancer. Her death will set in motion what promises to be a tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her.

Applications open!
09/17/2020

Applications open!

We are now accepting applications for our Executive Internship Program for Birmingham City Schools’ seniors in the Career Academies. Visit the link below to apply today!

http://bit.ly/BEFInternshipApp

💚💛💚💛💚
09/12/2020

💚💛💚💛💚

Thank God it is Friday! However, today was a SUPER Day because we rolled out our student devices due to our 1.8 million dollar funding through the Verizon Innovative Learning Program (Cohort 7). We would like to thank the Marketing Manager at Walmart District 13, Buffie Jackson, for their donation of stylus pens for our scholars. Mrs. Emma Courington, VILS Coach, for leading this charge with our Student Tech Team and staff. A special shout out to Ms. Helen Bonham, HMGC Marketing Consultants for ordering our specialized blazers that showcases 100 % of our instructional staff being Apple Teacher Certified. We are #TeamWilkerson. A special thanks to our Superintendent, Dr. Mark Sullivan, Jordan Scales for the welcome, and the Strategy and Communications Department for supporting this event.

💜💛💜💛💜
09/11/2020

💜💛💜💛💜

CLASSROOM HERO: We're recognizing Ms. LaQuontay Daniel for her commitment to helping educate the children in our community. Daniel has been a teacher at Oxmoor Valley Elementary School in Birmingham for the past 6 years and has taught in Birmingham for a total of 10 years. Prior to coming back home to teach in Birmingham, Daniel taught in the Montgomery Public Schools system for three years. She’s a graduate Alabama State University.

I hope everyone’s week was a good start to virtual learning!
09/11/2020
Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?

I hope everyone’s week was a good start to virtual learning!

Though remote learning has brought many challenges, some students seem to be thriving in the new circumstances. What can we learn from them?

💔💙💔💙💔Praying for the Dawson and Carver families. 🙏🏽 you have eternal rest, Daniyah.
09/08/2020

💔💙💔💙💔
Praying for the Dawson and Carver families.
🙏🏽 you have eternal rest, Daniyah.

The George W. Carver High School family is saddened by the recent passing of Daniyah Dawson, a rising 10th-grader. Authorities have confirmed that Daniyah died over the weekend at Oak Mountain State Park. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. At this time, we are respecting the privacy of her family and friends.💙❤ #OurLastNameIsCarver 💙❤

Posted @withregram • @bhmcityschools The deadline for The Gates Scholarship, a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship...
09/05/2020

Posted @withregram • @bhmcityschools The deadline for The Gates Scholarship, a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding high school seniors, is September 15, 2020. For more information, visit www.thegatesscholarship.org/scholarship.

@centralparkelemschool is hosting packet pickups during the day and an open house tonight at 5:30pm. Call the school if ...
09/04/2020

@centralparkelemschool is hosting packet pickups during the day and an open house tonight at 5:30pm. Call the school if you have questions!

The BCS Child Nutrition Program will offer 42 sites for meal distribution to all remote scholars on school days. Meal di...
09/04/2020

The BCS Child Nutrition Program will offer 42 sites for meal distribution to all remote scholars on school days. Meal distribution services will be provided on a daily operating basis via curbside pickup and walk-up service from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. BCS students can receive a hot meal from any school location in the district, as well as a continental breakfast for the next morning.
For more information: https://buff.ly/34UzZLP

Posted • @bhmcityschools Birmingham student scholars will be no more than a mile away from a hot meal on school days und...
09/04/2020

Posted • @bhmcityschools

Birmingham student scholars will be no more than a mile away from a hot meal on school days under a new plan announced today from Birmingham City Schools. In addition to lunch offerings at all 42 school locations in the district, the following community and church sites have been added to serve students on school days from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Birmingham has a permanent superintendent!  I have no doubt Dr. Mark Sullivan will make us proud. Be sure and congratula...
09/01/2020
Dr. Mark Sullivan named permanent Birmingham City Schools superintendent

Birmingham has a permanent superintendent! I have no doubt Dr. Mark Sullivan will make us proud. Be sure and congratulate him!

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham City Schools has officially named Dr. Mark Sullivan as the system’s permanent superintendent. The announcement was made Monday evening. Sullivan has…

Carver Athletics
08/27/2020

Carver Athletics

Purchase your game tickets NOW to the Carver vs. Woodlawn Football game THIS FRIDAY @ 7PM at Carver Stadium hosted by DJ Cuzzo and 95.7 Jamz! #BCSPride #eastvsnawf

LINK: https://gofan.co/app/events/90898?schoolId=AL372

BCS Guidelines:
1. Limited Fans and Seating (Temperature Checks will take place before entry into stadium)
2. Masks MUST be worn on stadium grounds at ALL times
3. Online tickets sold ONLY!
4. No PURSES or BAGS inside stadium
5. Only DRINKS will be sold INSIDE concession stands!

A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club
08/25/2020

A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club

Our remote learning program is designed to “fill” the gap for students not physically being able to be in school. We are providing our members a safe, socially-distanced classroom setting with after school programming as well. Registration is Now Open. Visit aggbgc.org/reopen for more info.

I have a newfound appreciation for the all history teachers of the world! 😩😂
08/23/2020

I have a newfound appreciation for the all history teachers of the world! 😩😂

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Birmingham, AL
35203

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JEFFERSON COUNTY🗣🗣🗣🗣🗣 BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL SYSTEMS, BESSEMER SSCHOOL SYSTEMS ALL SCHOOL SYSTEMS We are getting ready for our 1st Back to School Gospel Worship to be help at the Boutwell Auditorium on Sunday, August 11, 2019 from 4pm - 7pm. Our target is bullying and for the students to sign a pledge. Plus we are giving away surprises to the students. Parents you or an adult over 21 must be in attendance with the child (we recommend the parents). More infor coming soon. Sponsors and donors are more than welcome to contact me by email at [email protected] or via phone 205-340-6400. Thank you Tomeka Walker "Together we have to make a change"
Hello, Miss Sonja Smith*** Hollywood MASSAGE THERAPY ***please give us a call if may need assistance ok..have a bless Day
I have been around the political scene for over 40 years and I seen the ins and the outs in politics. I would like to urged everyone who lives in District 8 to support Sonja Smith for the Birmingham Board of Education for District 8. Sonja offers new leadership and a newer way in Education the foundation for our children's future and that is needed to make our system work. So I urged everyone to go back to the polls on October 3 in the runoff in District 8 and cast your vote for Sonja Smith. Lets put our Children's Education First.
So proud of Birmingham right now for getting out and voting!!! Proud of my sister and I know she will do the city well!!!!!
One of my neighbors indicated that you stated you use to work at a JC, Junior College and you're a grant writer. If so, which JC, what position(s) did you hold and for how long were you employed? Who have you written grants for? What are your views on Charter Schools? What qualities do you have that your opponents lack? How much knowledge do you have about Education policy and how did you obtain that knowledge?
2) Where did you go to college and did you graduate? What is your highest degree and what was your major? What line of work are you currently in and how long have you been in that line of work? Have you ever been employed in the BCS district? If so, how long ago and what position did you hold?
Hi Sonja. My name is Tammie and I have recently moved to Birmingham from Montgomery. I am registered to vote in the up coming election on Aug. 22nd and I'm currently reside is district 8. I do not know much about any of the candidates for BCS board district 8 so if you can share somethings about yourself, that would be great and I can also influence my family members to vote for the best candidate as well. 1) Where did you attend high school?