Principal for a Day
A little about Mrs. Smyth
Ms. Smyth has had a significant career with the New York City Department of Education for the past twenty years; educating students in all grades K-12 as a classroom teacher, cluster teacher, mathematics coach, staff developer and Assistant Principal. Ms. Smyth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Study from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College and a Master’s Degree in School Leadership from Touro College.
Michele Smyth was recruited to the staff of Scholars’ Academy in 2007 by Founding Principal Brian O’Connell as a mathematics staff developer and programmer. At the time, Scholars’ Academy was a new, yet highly successful middle school and had just begun its expansion as a grades 6-12 school. Recognizing the unique needs and challenges of developing a high school, Ms. Smyth embraced the challenge and responsibility of building a comprehensive high school program, with a balance of rigorous coursework, college readiness preparation, and school spirit functions.
Ms. Smyth’s years at Scholars’ Academy have afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet the common goal of increasing student achievement and supporting students’ social emotional well-being. She has led teams of teachers, counselors, and administrative staff to continually expand Advanced Placement course offerings and college level courses through a partnership with St. Francis College. She has been a crucial member of the College and Career Office team since its inception, supporting students and their families through the college search and application process.
Ms. Smyth’s educational philosophy is based on her uncompromising belief that all students can learn when given strong and knowledgeable leadership, a committed and focused team of educators, and a collaborative community built on trust. She is proud that Scholars’ Academy has consistently earned top ratings and is now recognized as one of the best high schools in New York City, celebrating a 100% graduation rate and a 99.9% acceptance rate to four-year colleges and universities, including top institutions such as Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Macaulay Honors College, and many more.
Ms. Smyth is grateful to have developed as a school leader under the guidance of Scholars’ Academy Founding Principal Brian O’Connell. Her deep knowledge of the school’s program and systems, coupled with her strong relationships with students, families and staff, allowed her to make a seamless transition to her role as Principal of Scholars’ Academy in March 2020.
Steering Scholars’ Academy In Uncharted Waters
SA’s acting principal Michele Smyth is maintaining community in a world of remote learning.
[...] “It wasn’t in my job description to be a principal during a pandemic,” said Smyth, who now spends her days juggling online meetings and providing support to teachers and students as they navigate the uncharted waters of remote learning.
“Right now we are operating very much in the moment,” the principal explained. “I think my most important role is to keep our school community together and maintain communications with our families, students, and staff.” [...]