Ruby Lumpkin Smith, Director of Adult Education at Pearl River Community College, has been named South Mississippi Adult Education Administrator of the Year for 2021.
The award is sponsored by the Mississippi Association of Adult and Community Education.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude,” said Smith, who just wrapped up her second year as the director at PRCC. “It means so much. I feel so blessed to have this job and to receive this award is such an amazing feeling.”
Smith said she is fortunate to work alongside an adult education staff that she considers one of the best in the state of Mississippi.
“The passion and hard work of our adult education staff fuels my passion and hard work,” said Smith. “They are an amazing group of people and I look forward to seeing them every day and working alongside them helping our students every day.”
Smith oversees a staff of some 25 people, who are mostly instructors and support staff. She makes sure they are well equipped with the items they need. Her office is in Poplarville but she directs adult education programs in PRCC’s six-county district, from Hancock County to Jeff Davis County.
She is excited about what the future brings to the PRCC program this coming year.
“With COVID restrictions lifting, we are looking forward to being able to serve more students in the classroom face to face,” said Smith. “We are looking forward to continuing to help those that choose to work online. I am looking forward to a great year serving our students.”
Rebecca Brown, Dean of Workforce and Community Development for PRCC, said Smith and her staff go above and beyond to help students succeed.
“Ruby pours her heart and soul into our Adult Education program and continuously seeks to refine and improve every aspect of how we serve our students,” said Brown.
“PRCC’s Adult Education and Workforce Departments benefit daily from her experience, commitment, and contagious passion. We are all better off for the work she does.”
Smith became an assistant teacher in 2001, helping grade papers and doing some one-on-one tutoring. She continued that role while earning her associate’s degree from PRCC in 2004 and a B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in December, 2006. In January 2007, she became a fulltime adult education instructor.
She previously served as adult education coordinator (2015-18) and assistant director of adult education (2018-19).
Smith resides in Lumberton with her 12-year-old daughter, Addison.