Blanche Smith, an educator for 33 years, is a first-grade teacher at Decatur Classical School in Chicago. Before moving to her current position, she took on the challenge of starting Decatur's full-day kindergarten. She selected the screening program, designed the curriculum and even ordered furniture, supplies and equipment. In her eight years at Decatur, Ms. Smith has developed many programs and methods to challenge students to achieve well beyond expectations. Even her weekend and after school hours are often devoted to encouraging and supporting her students by attending their recitals or ball games. Ms. Smith, who has twice been elected to the local school council, also is pursuing graduate work in gifted education.