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Norwalk loses 'fantastic educator,' M'ville gains curriculum director

Cary Ashby • Apr 12, 2018 at 4:00 AM

The loss of Norwalk City Schools is a gain for Monroeville Local Schools.

The Norwalk school board has approved the resignation of Coral Smith, currently a second-grade teacher at Pleasant Elementary, at the end of the academic year. She has been hired as the full-time curriculum director for Monroeville.

“Coral is extremely deserving of this opportunity to join the Monroeville leadership team. I had the opportunity last year to witness first hand Coral’s leadership ability and passion for education when she substituted for Mrs. Janice Smith as the leader of Pleasant Elementary. Our loss of a fantastic educator is definitely Monroeville’s gain,” Norwalk Superintendent George Fisk said.

Smith worked five years at Maplehurst Elementary and then when Norwalk clustered the elementary-level grades at specific buildings, she worked seven years at Pleasant. 

While Principal Janice Smith (no relation) was on medical leave, Coral Smith served as the dean of students for several months at Pleasant.

“Coral has always put kids first above all else, a philosophy we both share. That was a huge factor in her success as dean of students here at Pleasant, during my extended absence last year for medical leave,” Janice Smith said. “As a teacher at Pleasant for seven years and Maplehurst for five years, she allowed her students to dream big dreams and showed them how fun learning could be.”

At Monroeville, Coral Smith is replacing part-time curriculum director Sherri Parent, who was employed through North Point Educational Service Center and was covering several school systems. Parent worked in Monroeville for nearly four years.

“Sherri is retiring. … She did a really wonderful job for us,” Monroeville Local Schools Superintendent Ralph Moore said. “She was making $63,000 a year.”

Smith will be making $61,000 annually, he said, so “we are getting a part-time price for full-time service.”

Sixteen people applied for the position of curriculum director and the district interviewed eight. During the interview process, Moore said the district heard from several candidates how many good things are happening in Monroeville.

“That was very gratifying to hear,” he added.

Smith’s personality, character, “knowledge base,” many years of being a teacher and her brief experience as a building administrator made her stand out above the other candidates, he said.

As the curriculum director, Smith will be establishing a working relationship with district teachers and also will advise them on “curriculum and instructional delivery,” Moore added. Curriculum and instructional delivery means the way teachers teach lessons.

Given Smith earning a master’s degree with an emphasis on curriculum, Moore said Smith also can be a staff evaluator.

“She can help us in a number of different ways,” the superintendent added.

While attempting to fill Parent’s shoes was a tall order, Moore said the district is very excited to have Smith on board. 

Janice Smith offered more praise for Coral Smith, calling her “an ultimate problem-solver.”

“She is able to remain calm, consider all options and offer an unbiased opinion to settle the matter. She will be able to complement strengths, offer specific suggestions for improvement and help staff develop successful strategies,” the Pleasant principal said.

“Educators continue to shape lives, dreams and futures. As Coral heads to Monroeville (Local) Schools to begin her next chapter in her new position, we wish her well and will truly miss her dedication to excellence.”

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