Shericka Smith, a social worker at Tates Creek High School (Fayette County), has been named Kentucky’s 2016 School Social Worker of the Year.
Smith received the award Oct. 20 during the Kentucky Association of School Social Work (KASSW) conference in Frankfort and will be recognized at the Midwest School Social Work conference Oct. 27-28 in Lisle, Ill.
Smith, a Lexington native who became interested in social work while helping at a Salvation Army shelter alongside her mother, is in her second year at Tates Creek High. She previously worked for seven years at Booker T. Washington Academy (Fayette County). She worked at Wellspring Crisis Stabilization Unit and at Brooklawn Child and Family Services (now Uspiritus), both in Louisville, before joining the Fayette County schools.
She is a certified youth mental health first aid instructor and frequently trains staff, parents and community members across the district. She is currently in supervision to obtain her licensed clinical social worker accreditation, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
Also at the KASSW meeting, Partners for Youth received the Friend of School Social Work award. This Lexington-based organization funds 11 programs in Fayette County schools – at Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Tates Creek high schools; Bryan Station, Edythe J. Hayes, Leestown and Tates Creek middle schools; the School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass; and Booker T. Washington, Northern, and William Wells Brown elementary schools.