Superintendent of Schools Ralph Mayo announced today the appointment of Ms. Shanta M. Smith as Principal of Hamilton Avenue School effective July 1, 2019.An educator for nineteen years and a school administrator since 2010, Ms. Smith is currently serving as Principal of Edgewood Creative Thinking Through STEAM Magnet School in New Haven, CT. She has received extensive training in inquiry-based teaching and actively advocated for the opportunity to co-draft a federal grant to enable the rebranding of Edgewood as a STEAM school.
Ms. Smith said "I am extremely honored to have been selected to serve as the next Principal of Hamilton Avenue STEM Magnet School. I look forward to "leading and learning" using an inquiry stance while working collaboratively with Hamilton Avenue STEM Magnet School students, staff, parents and members of Greenwich Public Schools and the community to celebrate successes and build upon and discover new opportunities to make learning personal for our students."
Mr. Mayo said, "After an extensive search for a Principal of Hamilton Avenue School, I am extremely pleased to announce that Shanta Smith has been appointed principal of our STEM Magnet School. Shanta comes to Greenwich with a great deal of leadership experience and a proven track record of supporting student growth. She works in a highly collaborative manner and her data driven approach will prove invaluable to the staff and students at Hamilton Avenue School. Shanta cares deeply about the welfare of her students as she has demonstrated through the social-emotional learning activities that are in place in her current assignment. Shanta is a great fit for Hamilton Avenue School, her strong work ethic, sharp focus on the needs of all constituents, communication skills and outstanding character will serve the students and the school community well for many years to come.
Finally, I wish to thank John Grasso for his commitment to Hamilton Avenue School and his willingness to help Shanta transition into her new role. John has always been there for our district and he should be commended for his efforts."
Administrative candidates are selected after a comprehensive search and appointment process, which includes widespread recruitment efforts, multiple interviews, and extensive reference and background checks.
Bio Brief: Shanta M. Smith
As Principal of Edgewood Creative Thinking Through STEAM Magnet School in New Haven, CT
since 2014, Shanta Smith led the charge for the school to secure funding from the Federal Magnet School Assistance Program, enabling the staff to participate in professional development with the CT Science Center and Columbia University to craft inquiry-based STEAM lessons. In addition, building effective organizational structures and systems to ensure a safe and culturally responsive learning environment at Edgewood led to a track record of improved student outcomes. As the instructional and social-emotional learning (SEL) leader of the school, Ms. Smith introduced behavior management processes, the Second Step SEL program, restorative practices for the classroom, and SEL report cards for grades K-5.
Ms. Smith began her career in education as a Grade 3 teacher at West Elementary School in Washington, D.C. in 2000. From 2002 to 2006, she taught middle school math and writing at Amistad Academy in New Haven, CT. In 2006, Ms. Smith was appointed the Math Instructional Coach for the King/Robinson Inter-District International Baccalaureate World Magnet School (Prek-8), serving in this role for four years before becoming the Assistant Principal for the school in 2010. Moving to Lewin G. Joel Elementary School (PreK-3) in Clinton CT as Assistant Principal in 2011, Ms. Smith provided administrative direction and oversight for the creation of math monitoring probes and universal screening assessments for mathematics, trained staff in Responsive Classroom techniques, and led Professional Learning Communities, the School Climate Committee and the Schools for Tools Committee.
Ms. Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC in 1998; a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of New Haven, New Haven, CT in 2000; a Sixth Year Diploma in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT in 2010; and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, anticipated spring 2021.