Francis Center, which has been offering educational and emotional support for Niagara Falls children since 1997, has hired Mary Elizabeth Smith, as director of children's programs. She will replace Elizabeth Neumeister, OSF, who recently retired after 25 years as director.
Smith will be responsible for supervising daily operations of the Francis Center children's programs, and building and maintaining relationships with the Niagara Falls School District and other community partners.
She comes to Francis Center with 24 years of experience as an educator. Smith has served in both private and public schools. She possesses a Master of Science degree in education from Niagara University and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from SUNY Fredonia.
Smith said she bases her philosophy of teaching on addressing the social-emotional development of the whole child, and the importance of building self-confidence and an appreciation for learning. She said she also sees the encouragement of respect and kindness as highly important – values that underpin the Francis Center children's programs.
A press release noted, “The Francis Center has served the Niagara Falls community for 25 years, offering a variety of programs that teach children fundamentals that contribute to a healthy, happy, productive life: knowledge, kindness and creative expression. In a welcoming, safe environment, they enrich their academic skills (reading, math and language), while encouraging appropriate social behavior en route to stronger self-confidence and appreciation for learning.”
The Francis Center is located at 335 24th St.