Educator Profile    Educators

Dr. Sanderson Smith (CA '88)


At the time of the Award, Dr. Sanderson Smith was:

Cate School
Carpinteria, CA

Subject(s) taught: Mathematics
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Biographical Information

Currently retired, Dr. Sanderson Smith was a part-time mathematics instructor at Santa Barbara City College from 2004 -2017. He retired from full-time teaching in 2004 after 40 years as a math teacher and department chair at Cate School, a private secondary school in Carpinteria.  Dr. Smith has authored nationally recognized math books and more than two dozen articles about math education. While at Cate School, Dr. Smith reached out beyond the classroom, creating projects such as the Foster Family Program, through which students paid weekly visits to the mentally disabled and other public service projects that benefited the Carpinteria community. Dr. Smith is the recipient of the 1986 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, was a Tandy Technology Scholar and received a Certificate of Commendation and lifetime membership from the California Mathematics Council. He was elected president of the Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics. His presentation, "Promoting Mathematics History Through Humor," was well-received at math conferences throughout the United States and Canada.   In retirement from full-time teaching Dr. Smith has written three self-published family-oriented books on the topics statistics, finance and United States geography.  With his wife, Barbara, he remains active in church and community activities in Carpinteria.

********************************************************************* The following story about Dr. Smith recently appeared in a local publication: LONG-TIME CARPINTERIA RESIDENT, SANDERSON M. SMITH, HAS AUTHORED A NUMBER OF MATHEMATICALLY-RELATED BOOKS. THE MOST RECENT ARE: Agnesi to Zeno: Over 100 Vignettes from the History of Mathematics The Statistical Odyssey of Herkimer and the Stat Pack Herkimer and the Stat Pack Venture into Money Mathematics Fun USA Educational Activities with Herkimer and the Stat Pack ABOUT THE AUTHOR: B.A. (Mathematics), Amherst College, 1960 M.S. (Mathematics), State University of New York at Buffalo, 1968 M.A. (Mathematics Education), University of California at Santa Barbara, 1969 Ed.D. (Mathematics Education), Oklahoma State University, 1973. Sanderson Smith taught mathematics for 40 years at the Cate School in Carpinteria, California, where the Sanderson M. Smith Teaching Chair and the Sanderson M. Smith Scholarship Fund have been established by graduates of the School. During his teaching career at Cate, Smith was the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, the California Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, a Tandy Technology Scholar Award, a Triangle Coalition Congressional Fellowship, a National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation/California State Department of Education, and a SCI-MAT Fellowship from the Council for Basic Education. Smith is the author of numerous mathematically-related books and articles, including the very popular book Over 100 Vignettes from the History of Math. He has been a frequent speaker at math conferences throughout the country. His entertaining and educational presentation Promoting Mathematics History Through Humor has been well-received by audiences of mathematics teachers. Smith has co-directed numerous statistical quantitative literacy workshops for teachers sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the American Statistical Association. He has served on the California Presidential Award Selection Committee and the Educational Materials Committee of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). He was appointed Chair of a national scholarship committee that provides financial aide for college students who plan to pursue a career in mathematics education. Perhaps his greatest honor occurred when teachers throughout the United States and U.S. territories elected him to the office of President of the Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics (CPAM). In this capacity, Smith initiated many changes that greatly strengthened this organization of award-winning mathematics teachers. Smith retired as a full-time teacher at Cate School in June, 2004. He now teaches mathematics part time at Santa Barbara City College and tutors at a local elementary school. He and his wife of 52 years, Barbara, have a home in Carpinteria and devote time each week to community service activities with Carpinteria Community Church, Carpinteria Beautiful, HELP of Carpinteria and the Friendship Warming Center. They enjoy and appreciate living in Carpinteria. The community is fortunate to have them as residents.

Related Connections

Article: Money Talks. Students Listen.

Article: How Milken Educators are Spending their Summer Vacation (continued)

Dr. Sanderson Smith In The News

Canalino School Teacher Honored with Milken Educator Award: Brandon Sportel Earns Prestigious Recognition and $25,000
Coastal View News  |  Apr 13, 2015  |  Carpinteria, CA

This Year's Milken Educator Awards
Cate School  |  Apr 10, 2015  |  Carpinteria, CA

Additional Information


1960 Amherst College, B.A., University of California (Santa Barbara), M.A., State University of New York (Buffalo), M.S., Oklahoma State University, Ed.D.