The Norman Transcript

Local news

December 22, 2013

Women’s Resource Center executive Smith retires

NORMAN — After 33 years of working at Women’s Resource Center, executive director JoAnn Smith has officially hung up her hat.

Smith began working at the shelter for battered women in 1980, which was only one of five shelters in the state at the time, she said. During those 10 years at the shelter about 5,000 women and children were helped.

“That’s something that I was always really proud of. We always kept track of how many women and children were in there every day,” Smith said.

On top of that, a 24-hour crisis line helped about 1,000 people every year.

Through working at the Women’s Resource Center, Smith has had some of the most amazing experiences of her life.

As part of a national domestic violence coalition, Smith served as a

representative from Oklahoma going to Washington D.C. every fall to talk to legislatures. She also remembers taking a trip to Mexico City to talk to women in Mexico about how to handle domestic violence in their country.

“I learned more from them than I have ever learned (here),” Smith said. “They had different ways of dealing with domestic violence.”

She also remembers being invited to go to the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota for 10 days.

“They were so gracious to us. They held a pow wow in our honor and it was the most meaningful experience in my life,” she said. “There were drums in the background and the president of the tribe told his story of the Little Big Horn and it was amazing. I’ll just never forget it. I wouldn’t have had any of those experiences if it hadn’t been for the Women’s Resource Center.”

Smith has been with the center, nearly from the start, beginning work there only five months after it had opened.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Crime briefs

    Woman charged with assault A Norman woman was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon Monday after admitting that she threw a knife at someone, court records show. Jamie Marie Rietz, 32, was charged in Cleveland County ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jeremy Ryan Sellers, 20, second-degree burglary and malicious injury to property under $1,000 in concert and together with Ryan ...

    July 22, 2014

  • County want details of insurance coverage

    Cleveland County commissioners will formally request particulars on their insurance coverage from the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma Self Insurance Group....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart journeys from volunteer to director at Women’s Resource Center

    Kristy Stewart walked into the Women’s Resource Center as a volunteer 30 years ago. The volunteer work soon turned into a staff position, and that one into another and another and so on. Along with the new responsibilities came her ...

    July 21, 2014

  • garnervisit1 Family, friends recall Garner’s Norman roots

    Flowers started arriving at the James Garner statue at Main Street and Jones Avenue Sunday morning after residents learned of the famed actor and Norman native’s death Saturday night in California. Norman resident Roy Hamilton, who grew ...

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • James Garner James Garner dies at 86

    NEW YORK — Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety....

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos