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Meet Gina Smith, Acres Green Elementary School

Gina Smith

LONE TREE – Gina Smith has learned that all children have unique needs...and that all children have the potential to learn. After beginning her career as a social worker, she realized that her true calling was in the field of education.

10 facts about Gina Smith

What do you enjoy must about your job?
The kids! They keep me focused on what matters most!

What was your first job?
Sales clerk at my father's bicycle shop in Texas

If you had the opportunity to pursue another career, what would you choose?
I'd probably think about being a Social Worker or counselor in an educational setting

What is the last book you read?
The Giver - was rereading it before I went to see the movie.

What was your favorite subject in high school?
Math

What was your first car?
69 Pontiac Catalina with a faded white paint job, peeling black roof, a steering wheel large enough for an 18-wheeler. Totally embarrassed driving it, but loved that I could fit we of my friends in it–we didn't use seat belts back then–for many, many trips to Six Flags over Texas!

Favorite store to browse?
Any bookstore

Favorite quote?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." Albert Einstein

Do you collect anything? If so, what is it?
Dust–I hate to dust!

Is there something about you that would surprise your colleagues?
That I own a Harley–any day is better when I have time to ride it!

Smith received a Bachelor of Social Work from Stephen F. Austin State University, and entered the field of social work, driven by her desire to make a difference in the lives of children. It was during a period of work as a caseworker, investigating reports of child abuse, that she became aware of an underlying drive to become directly involved in education.

That drive landed her at the University of New Mexico, where she worked to earn her her teacher licensure through a Post-Baccalaureate program, and later, a Masters degree in Educational Leadership.

“I have always been interested in working with children,” Smith said. “I have taught kindergarten, third grade, ESL, Title I reading, and was also an instructional literacy coach.”

Given her interest in providing a robust educational environment for children, It is not surprising that Smith continued her own education, and moved into administration and leadership. After serving as an assistant principal in New Mexico for two years, she moved to Douglas County, and entered the role of assistant principal at Acres Green Elementary School.

Acres Green proved to be a good match for Smith, where she continued to serve as assistant principal over a period of four years. In 2007, Smith embraced the opportunity to take the helm as principal, and remains in that role today.

Smith speaks passionately about the environment at Acres Green. “Our school has an extremely supportive family community and a passionate, dedicated staff,” she said. “We believe there is a leader in every child, and cultivate that through our Leader in Me philosophy, empowering students to become ready to succeed in their personal lives and in the 21st Century with the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, work collaboratively, problem solve, and be creative innovators.”

The combination of Smith’s leadership and the commitment of the school’s staff provide a dynamic framework for serving a wide range of student needs. “We have students from 17 countries, families from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and specialized programming for SSN, ESL, and gifted students.”

As Smith reflects on her work at Acres Green, she is keenly aware that the leaders of tomorrow will be a reflection of the education they receive today. “Our students will create the future. As educators, we have the privilege and responsibility to equip them for that future."

 

October 29, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Acres Green Elementary School, Elementary Education, Schools

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