BEAUMONT, Texas — On December 13, LaRue Smith was sworn in as a Port of Beaumont Commissioner for Ward 3, following her appointment on November 15. Commissioner Smith will be filling the unexpired term of her late husband, Ward 3 Commissioner Lee E. Smith.
The Port of Beaumont Board of Commissioners is responsible for making decisions pertaining to the current operations and future direction of the Port. The Board is made up of six elected commissioners who each serve six-year staggered terms. Cumulatively, Port of Beaumont commissioners have 56 years of experience serving on the Board.
Smith, a retired educator with strong community ties, was one of five applicants who expressed interest in the position. According to the Board of Commissioners, her knowledge of the Port of Beaumont made her uniquely qualified to fill the vacant seat.
“The opportunity to apply for the vacant position, as a result of the death of my husband Lee, is one that I have, prayerfully, given great consideration,” said LaRue Smith. “The passion that I have for the success of the Port of Beaumont, and to further the work that my husband began, have inspired me. I understand the important role the Port of Beaumont plays in the economic growth of Southeast Texas.”
Smith has a master’s degree from Prairie View A & M University and is an accomplished educator, having earned recognition over the course of her career as:
• West Brook High School Teacher of the Year
• Beaumont A & M Club Outstanding High School Teacher
• Metropolitan PTA Good Apple Award
• West Brook High School PTA Outstanding Teacher Award
• BISD Employee of the Month
• BISD Strategic Planning Process Committee Member
• Danforth Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Education
• Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence in Teaching
• South Park ISD Outstanding Teacher
An active member of the community, Smith serves on the City of Beaumont Library Commission for Ward IV, is a nominating committee member for Education First Federal Credit Union, a member of the Beaumont Association of Retired Teachers, and a former board member of Sabine Oaks Nursing Home, among other things. Smith has also given her time to Lamar University as a mentor to teacher interns and served as a TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) specialist, presenting workshops to teachers and students.
Through her new role as a Port of Beaumont Commissioner, she will continue to serve as an advocate for education and community growth.