Paula Smith is a math teacher at Mabelvale Magnet Middle School in Mabelvale. From 2000 to 2004, she worked as the middle school math specialist for the Little Rock School District. In this capacity, she trained middle school math teachers in current pedagogy, observed classrooms and mentored new math teachers. Previously, she was an elementary mathematics specialist at Booker T. Washington Magnet School in Little Rock, where she taught intermediate math and scheduled special evenings for students and parents to engage in math and science activities together. During her tenure, many of Smith's students achieved high scores on the pre-algebra test, facilitating their placement in higher-level math classes. Smith received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 1991.