Orangeburg County native named president-elect of NASDSE
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Orangeburg County native named president-elect of NASDSE

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An Orangeburg County native was recently named president-elect of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE).

Dr. Zelphine Smith-Dixon lives in Conyers, Georgia, with her husband, Marki Dixon, and children Myles, Megan, and Mason. She has completed various educational studies to include: K-12 education in Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3; bachelor’s degree in special education from Columbia College; master of education degree in elementary education from South Carolina State University; doctor of education degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and master of arts in Christian studies from Luther Rice College and Seminary, Lithonia, Georgia.

She has a longstanding history of improving achievement for schools in S,C, and Georgia. She received the following accolades: Tri-County Special Educator of the Year, Vance-Providence Elementary Teacher of the Year and Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 Alternate District Teacher of the Year. In April 2018, Columbia College presented her with the Wil Lou Gray Outstanding Educator Award. Later, she served as the Columbia College commencement speaker in May 2019.

Smith-Dixon is the state director for the Division for Special Education at the Georgia Department of Education. She serves in ministry at the dReam Center Church of Atlanta in Decatur, Georgia, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and believes in its commitment to public service.

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"I am excited to serve NASDSE in this leadership position and am keenly aware that many equity challenges impact our work,” Smith-Dixon said. “Many students we serve are economically disadvantaged, and we need to ensure that they succeed because of us, not in spite of us. Our students need to have opportunities and see diversity all around them. We are committed to not only representing our students but their families, being guardians of equity, meeting each student’s needs and improving outcomes."

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