Melissa Smith: Central turns up the heat

Published 8:45 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

Melissa Smith

My name is Melissa Smith. I was born into a family of teachers and preachers in Fort Myers, Florida, comprised of seven girls and one baby boy.
A 1992 graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, I later pursued a Master’s in Educational Leadership at NOVA Southeastern University, Florida, graduating in 2003.
In June 2003, I married Timothy Smith from Albemarle and moved here to begin my 11th year of teaching. After teaching at North Albemarle Elementary School for one year, I transitioned to Albemarle High School as assistant principal under the leadership of Dave Bright, whom I adore.
In 2006-2007, I, along with dedicated staff, families and community, had the honor and privilege of transitioning Central Elementary School to the newly-renovated building next door.
My passion is loving these babies. For over 26 years, I have eagerly embraced my calling to teach and lead and have served public education inside and outside of the classroom in a teacher and administrative capacity.
We would also love to introduce one of our newest additions to the Central family, Erica Thompson. She comes with a wealth of educational experience and knowledge and is ready for the wonderful challenge on serving as assistant principal. Please stop by to meet her when you get the chance.
Every day I step onto the Central campus, joy permeates through every fiber of my being because I am where I want to be, where I need to be. I say to myself daily, “I will persist, and I will succeed through Christ. That is why I am here.”
Central staff members are very dedicated and committed to the cause of teaching diverse learners. Though all Stanly County Schools staff work hard, many of Central’s staff members pass by several schools on the way to work but choose to serve in the city school sector to meet the needs of diverse learners. What a calling.
Our theme this year is “212 The Extra Degree,” by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. This thematic legacy was left to my charge by former assistant principal, Julie McSwain.
We dedicated the theme to her because of her faithfulness to students, teachers and the greater community during her service with us.
The main idea behind the theme is to put forth just a little more effort so we may move in a progressive manner — forward.
At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, water boils.
With boiling water comes steam, but steam can power a locomotive.
How powerful is that?
Like many schools, Central is resilient and longsuffering and most of all “not an acceptable loss.”
Many staff members see themselves as missionaries first, educators next and the children always as champions.
Staff work collaboratively to plan for effective, data-driven instruction. It’s amazing to see how staff engage students with authentic personalized opportunities to grow and learn. As a result, students’ abilities and talents are properly showcased.
Our goals for the 2018-2019 school year will focus on building a strong school culture by strengthening relationships with all educational stakeholders and continuing to improve teaching and learning by infusing more rigor in instructional practices.
Welcome back to our Central family. We look forward to a year filled with 212 degres of greatness.
With that in mind, “Let’s turn up the heat.”