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As principal of Eden Hall Upper Elementary School, Steven Smith has driven instructional and cultural change by facilitating processes that engage all stakeholders in collaborative problem-solving. With a leadership style that is deeply grounded in the relationships that he cultivates, Mr. Smith tasks himself with "helping everyone understand how their work contributes to a larger purpose." In turn, he has successfully empowered students, parents, and staff to take responsibility for the improvement of the school.
At the beginning of his tenure at Eden Hall, for example, Mr. Smith helped to guide a school-wide self-evaluation process by creating focus groups made up of students, teachers, and families to identify the strengths, opportunities, and expectations for improvement. The process established a spirit of collaboration and yielded several initiatives that the school has implemented, including the revision of the building's master schedule to provide and expand curricular offerings to give students choice in exploring areas of interest.
Mr. Smith was recently named the 2017 Pennsylvania's National Distinguished Principal and will be honored in Washington, D.C. in October. In 2008, Mr. Smith was honored by the Pennsylvania School Study Council for Excellence in Leadership and Supervision. He was also named as the 2011 Educator of the Year by the Western Pennsylvania Junior Achievement Council.