• October 27, 2020

Pease principal wins Administrator of the Year - Odessa American: ECISD

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Pease principal wins Administrator of the Year

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Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020 1:09 pm

In only her second year as a principal and her second year at Pease Elementary School, Kamye Smith has earned administrator of the year honors for Ector County ISD.

“I was a bit shocked, but I’m honored to be in the same league as some of these amazing principals in Ector County,” Smith said.

Pease has about 560 prekindergarten through second grade students. Students go on to Noel Elementary for third through fifth grade.

Approximately 250 students are in school at Pease and 200 are learning remotely. On the day she was interviewed, second graders had returned to campus.

“It’s exciting (to have the students back). I like to go into the classroom,” Smith said.

She added that people get into education, in part, to see students learn.

“There’s something about the atmosphere and the culture of the school when students are here. Some of them are still struggling just for the fact that they’ve been out for so long and then the transition back. ... We’ve had pre-k students that were only here half day last year and then they left in March. Now they’re coming to kindergarten a full day, so it’s a big transition for them. For the most part, they’re doing really well. We have some amazing parents that are working with the teachers. I just can’t talk enough about the amazing teachers, the staff that we have. They’re here for the kids. They’re invested in the kids and they do an amazing job both in person and on virtual,” Smith said.

Smith noted that she didn’t win Administrator of the Year on her own.

“… I have an amazing leadership team. My AP (assistant principal) is just amazing. ... A lot of teacher leaders, they just take over and do what’s best for the kids. Once we have that focus, it just seems to all come together. I think that the administrator of the year is just a reflection of the whole campus,” she added.

Parental involvement also is a key and can be hard to achieve.

“We have an open-door policy. I want them to come in and talk with me. We communicate with them through our Seesaw. That’s our communication program; then lots of communication through our website, through our Facebook (page), through our Twitter; all of those things,” Smith said.

“We want parents involved. We want them to be a part of it because it takes everybody to grow these students (to) where they need to be with the foundational skills.”

Micah Arrot is the assistant principal at Pease. She and Smith started together at the campus. Arrot said Smith’s award was well deserved.

Working with someone like Smith, Arrot said, inspires everyone on campus to do better. She added that she also believes in Smith’s vision for prekindergarten through second grade students and notes that those years are important as they are the foundation for future learning.

She added that Smith never asks anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself whether it’s moving furniture, demonstrating a lesson or working with parents.

“She would never ask you to do something that she’s not willing to do herself, and to work for a leader like that I think it inspires all of us to want to do better so she totally deserved it,” Arrot said.

Smith said she admires the resilience of the students, staff and parents and understands that COVID-19 has put a strain on everyone.

“... It’s really scary, but they’ve come together and just said they’re going to be here for the best interest of the kids, so I admire them for doing that,” Smith said.

Odessa, TX

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