Ms. Christine Criner Smith is a native Houstonian who was raised in the third ward community. Here, Ms. Criner Smith developed a strong sense of belonging and sense of community. “In our community at the time, there was sharing and caring. We were small enough to know everybody and we were bonded because we shared a common struggle to succeed and to make a difference for others. These characteristics have stayed with me throughout my career and life. This then is the way of my chosen profession”.
Ms. Criner Smith is a retired educational administrator with forty-nine years of experience working in public schools. Most of those years were spent as a high school principal in Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Texas, La Marque, Texas and Fort Bend, Texas schools. Today, Ms. Criner Smith spends her time working on community activities with various philanthropic and educational organizations such as One Delta Plaza Educational Center, Inc. (ODPEC). She is a 51-year member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. and past president of the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (2015-2017).
As a ten-year member of the Drifters, Inc., she has been the Parliamentarian and the Recording Secretary. Ms. Criner Smith has previously been a member of the ODPEC Board of Directors where she was the recording secretary and chairperson of the decorations committee for the annual Golf Tournament. In her current capacity on the ODPEC Board of Directors, Ms. Criner Smith serves as the Vice-Chairperson and Community Programs Chairperson. Ms. Criner Smith’s involvement in community activities has resulted in her being honored by many educational groups and schools, and numerous civic organizations.