“Having spent her entire career in Arlington, Ellen understands the core principles of Arlington Public Schools and the middle school model,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. “Ellen has a passion and strong instructional understanding of middle school content as well as the social, emotional and academic needs of students. She is a thoughtful leader and strategic thinker, and fosters positive discussions with students, staff, and families.”
Smith has been an educator nearly 30 years, all in the Arlington Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in Washington State and two Master’s degrees from George Mason University. She also has teaching certifications in early childhood education through middle school. She began working in APS at Thomas Jefferson Middle School as an English teacher and then International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator, before moving into the assistant principal position in July of 2012.
Smith has a solid background in working with various stakeholders to set a school-wide curriculum focus and tone. In 2004, she successfully led the work to implement the IB Middle Years Programme at Jefferson Middle School. She also led teachers in implementing Understanding by Design planning units, launched curriculum mapping, and proactively communicated program expectations with community members and parents to ensure a successful program would be established.
Her transition plan for working with all stakeholders will focus on the whole child, personalized learning, and effective and efficient systems to ensure a solid foundation is built when the new middle school opens in 2019.
Smith’s appointment begins on July 1.