State Representative Vernon G. Smith became a member of the Indiana House of Representatives when Earline Rogers resigned to fill the Indiana Senate seat of the late Carolyn Mosby. He represents Indiana House District 14 at the Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis whenever the State Legislature—the General Assembly—is in session.
Prior to his election to the Indiana House of Representatives, Vernon had served on the Gary City Council since 1972.
Rep. Smith is currently a Professor of Education at Indiana University Northwest (IUN), where he has won every teaching award offered on the Northwest Campus. He has served as the interim dean of IUN’s School of Education.
Smith’s professional background includes experience at several public schools in Gary. He was the principal of Williams School from 1985 to 1992, principal of Nobel School from 1978 to 1985, and assistant principal of Ivanhoe School from 1972 to 1978. Smith taught in the Gary Public Schools System between 1966 and 1971. He graduated from Froebel High School and earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ed.D. degrees from Indiana University; and has undertaken post-doctoral work at Indiana University and Purdue University.
Rep. Smith serves as a deacon and is a Sunday School teacher at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. He is the author of multiple refereed journal articles and several books including Against All Odds: The Power of the Tongue, and Creating Excellence: Becoming an A+ School. He is the recipient of over 200 awards and citations.
Vernon G. Smith has served in a wide range of civic and community leadership positions, including:
- founder and board president of the African-American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc.;
- author of the bill creating and past chairman of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males;
- founder and chairman of the Gary City–Wide Festival Committee;
- founder and president of I.U. Dons, Inc.;
- founder and member of Northern Indiana Association of Black School Educators;
- founder and sponsor, Vernon Stars;
- national chairman, African-American Male National Council;
- sponsor, Annual Spirit of Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day for the needy, homeless, and lonely; and
- sponsor, Annual Harvest Feast that feeds the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving season.
Rep. Smith is a member of the Indiana University Alumni Association and is a life member of the NAACP. He has been involved in the work of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; the Indiana University Northwest Chapter of the American Association of University Professors; the Gary Reading Council / Indiana State Reading Association; the Indiana Association of School Principals; Phi Delta Kappa; Brothers Keepers Shelter for Homeless Men; the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana; and Handgun Control, Inc.