Penelope Miller-Smith

A recipient of the 2017 DoDEA and DoDEA Europe Principal of the Year Award with a “roll up your sleeves” leadership style, Penelope A. Miller-Smith is described by colleagues as a highly encouraging and supportive mentor dedicated to developing teacher leaders. Over eight years of principalship, four of which have been at Kaiserslautern Elementary, Miller-Smith has stayed true to a philosophy of whole-child education developed over 10 years as a special education teacher. In 2015, Miller-Smith spearheaded the rollout of the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics (CCRSM) curriculum. Administration began classroom visits to model teaching with the new curriculum, and instructors attended one-on-one follow-up meetings with Miller-Smith to ensure they felt supported and confident in introducing the CCRSM materials. Miller-Smith and her staff continue working collaboratively to strengthen the vertical and horizontal articulation of CCRSM throughout grade levels. Miller-Smith’s focus on educating the whole child is reflected in the introduction of a school-wide abuse prevention education program, Speak Up Be Safe, in partnership with her school’s psychologist. Students are also encouraged to take the lead in conservation efforts, and Kaiserslautern Elementary has been honored with the Army Green Boot program recognizing organizations that have taken significant steps to reducing waste. Miller-Smith holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Teacher Certification from California State University Long Beach, and M.A.s in Evaluation, Measurement, and Research and Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.