Longtime Rockledge City Council Member Joe Lee Smith Set to Retire After 36 Years of Service
By Lisa Nicholas // July 19, 2019
will retire in November of this year
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: In this very special edition of “Sit Down with Steve,” Steve Wilson talks with Dr. Joe Lee Smith, who is a life-long Brevard County resident and a legend and true pioneer, in every sense of the word. Dr. Smith talks about his life-long journey, what he enjoys doing in his spare time, and much more. Wilson interviewed Smith at the Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room Mike Erdman Cadillac Studios.
BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – Long-standing Rockledge city councilmember, Dr. Joe Lee Smith, announced on Wednesday that he will not seek reelection.
Smith, a Cocoa-born Florida native, informed his fellow council members that he would retire in November of this year after 36 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Rockledge.
A graduate of Cocoa’s Monroe High School, Smith proceeded to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education from Florida A & M University (FAMU), and then went on to obtain the rank of 1-A Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), as well as his doctoral degree in education (Ed.D.) from the University of Florida.
Smith’s distinguished career as an educator has spanned multiple counties, and he has devoted his time and his talents as a classroom teacher, coach, assistant principal, and dean, to name a few.
In 2000, Smith retired from Brevard Community College (BCC) as campus president emeritus; however, he was recruited out of retirement to perpetuate his career in education in the role of provost of the Palm Bay campus. During his esteemed tenure, Smith served as provost of all four campuses of BCC and, in 2017, Smith officially retired as BCC’s college ambassador.
In addition to being a first-rate educator, Smith is also a talented athlete and has been inducted into the revered Florida A & M University’s Sports Hall of Fame as an iconic baseball player, as well as the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame for his numerous achievements in sports development.
Throughout his 36 years on the Rockledge City Council, Smith spent three years as council chairman and also served as deputy mayor.
A member of several civic and non-profit organizations, Smith has garnered a number of awards, including the Brevard Community College Distinguished Service Award, the Humanitarian Award from Onyx magazine, and the United Third Bridge (U.T.B.) Puerto Rican Taino Award for his endeavors to advance the Hispanic community in Brevard County.
Smith also has several facilities named in his honor, such as the Joe Lee Smith Recreation Center, formerly known as the Magnolia Street Park in Cocoa.
In early 2012, the Dr. Joe Lee Smith Teaching Center was launched on the Melbourne campus of then-BCC and, in 2015, the City of Rockledge dedicated a portion of Edwards Drive as Dr. Joe Lee Smith Drive in recognition of his leadership in the community.
When asked about his colleague’s departure, Rockledge Mayor Tom Price said, “Joe Lee Smith has been a genuine asset to the citizens of Rockledge, a coach and mentor to countless youth throughout Brevard County and the entire state, and a pillar on the Rockledge City Council. To say that he will be missed is patently understated,” Price said.
Smith’s retirement will create an open seat for Seat No. 1 on the Rockledge City Council. Although council members are assigned seat numbers, they actually serve “at-large,” meaning all members of council serve all residents of Rockledge.
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