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Illinois educator and social activist Priscilla Smith was born in  Chicago on June 12, 1942, and passed away in Morton Grove on Aug. 5. 


Pris was the oldest child of Bette Hill Robinson and Sandy Smith, sister of Pamela Smith, Roger (Kavitha) Smith, and the late Roderick (Rock) Smith. She was a mother to Anthony (Michele), Andrew; grandmother to Deandre, Deandrea, Andrea (PJ) Angelique and Patrick; and aunt to Timothy McGarry, Meghan McGarry and Asha Smith. 

Priscilla attended Woodstock Community High School, graduating in 1960.  At Ripon College, she was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority.  She earned her baccalaureate and graduate degrees at the National College of Education in Evanston.

Her teaching career spanned more than three decades; initially working in the Chicago Public Schools.  Later, and for the majority of her time in the classroom, Pris enlightened and enlivened the lives of hundreds of elementary students in Evanston, becoming an institution in the community noted not only for her teaching expertise but for her unstinting efforts to promote racial understanding in her classroom and her community.

She received the Kohl International Teaching Award in 1993.  In retirement, Priscilla co-founded Kids And School Supplies (KASS), a non-profit, volunteer organization that provided children in need with the materials required for success in school.

Priscilla’s effervescent and empathetic presence will be missed by all who were included in her orbit.