Steven Smith

As principal of Eden Hall Upper Elementary School, Steven Smith has driven instructional and cultural change by facilitating generative processes that engage all stakeholders in collaborative problem-solving. With a leadership style that is deeply grounded in the relationships he cultivates, 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, Smith guided a school-wide self-evaluation process, creating focus groups made up of students, teachers, and families to identify strengths, expectations, and opportunities for improvement. The process established a spirit of collaboration and yielded several initiatives that Smith has since implemented, including the revision of the building’s master schedule to provide daily support for specialized intervention, scheduled time for embedded professional development, and expanded curricular offerings to give students choice in exploring areas of interest. Smith was honored by the Pennsylvania School Study Council for Excellence in Leadership and Supervision in 2008, and was named 2011 Educator of the Year by Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Special Education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and has undertaken graduate-level studies in School Administration at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.