#MNPSVoices: Shelley Archuleta Smith, Assistant Principal

MNPSVoices_Template (Gradient_Background) As the school year comes to a close, educators across the nation are being recognized for their outstanding work over this year. Metro Nashville Public Schools is proud to have many employees who are being honored with awards and accolades for their challenging work. One of these exceptional individuals is Shelley Archuleta Smith, assistant principal at Andrew Jackson Elementary.

Smith was recently named 2017-2018 National Outstanding Assistant Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). This national award recognizes the outstanding leadership of assistant principals at the elementary and middle school level. Smith is the first assistant principal in Tennessee to ever receive this award.

“It is an honor to receive this recognition for the state of Tennessee,” Smith said. “This would not have been possible without the guidance and support from my colleagues, teachers, students, parents and my family.”

Smith is 22-year veteran of MNPS joining the team as an English Language (EL) teacher at Cameron Middle School. Since that time, she has held a variety of positions including EL specialist, elementary English Language Development (ELD) curriculum coordinator and literacy coach. In 2015, she transitioned into administration as an assistant principal at Glenview Elementary before connecting with Andrew Jackson Elementary in her current role.

For many, receiving an award like this often sparks career reflection, and Smith has pinpointed her “defining moment” so far.

“I realized that by working as an administrator I have the opportunity to impact more than just my individual classroom,” she said. “My philosophy on what makes a school successful is, as an administrator, you need to be an instructional leader. You are there to provide resources for the teachers so they are successful which in turn benefits the students. As the school leader, I want to provide leadership opportunities for teachers and students.”

Smith has had a long career working in various roles as an educator. Throughout those years, there is one thing that has remained the same: she loves being involved in students’ lives.

“My favorite part of the job is building relationships with the students and the teachers,” Smith said. “I enjoy getting to know them as individuals and finding ways to help them be successful in all aspects of their lives.”