Dr. Betsy Smith has been an educator for 30 years; 11 as teacher, 5 as assistant principal and 14 as principal. Three words have guided her in making the choices in life and have become her personal mission statement: simple, fun, vibrant!
Learning something new every day has been a primary goal in life as she has continually furthered her education throughout her professional career. Dr. Smith received her Bachelor, Master, and Educational Specialist degrees from Livingston University (University of West Alabama), her Administration Certification from the University of Montevallo, her Certification in Gifted Education from the University of South Alabama. and Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Samford University.
Dr. Smith's education career began as a first grade teacher at Greensboro Elementary School. She continued her rise in education after teaching sixth grade at Forest Hills Middle School, second grade at Elsanor School (Robertsdale), first grade and assistant principal at Chelsea Elementary School, gifted education teacher at Columbiana Middle, Wilsonville Elementary and Shelby Elementary schools; principal at Shelby Elementary and, for the last ten years, principal at Elvin Hill Elementary School.
Dr. Smith and her husband Darin have five children and two grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with their family, working in the shop, sitting in the sun reading by their pool, and taking long walks on their ten acre farm. Dr. Smith is a certified trainer for 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and she lives by those habits daily. Her favorite book is "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voscamp which has helped her learn to appreciate and be thankful for everything in life.
Dr. Smith's philosophy of education can best be said in her own words:
"I believe every child can learn and be a leader. We must find the gifts inside each child and help develop those gifts. I believe in active learning and helping children think and talk about learning. Every child that walks through Elvin Hill Elementary Schoo's doors is a precious gift."
Melody Byrne is the assistant principal at Elvin Hill Elementary. Prior to becoming assistant principal, Mrs. Byrne taught at Vincent Elementary for eight years. She also taught kindergarten at Elvin Hill for one year.
Mrs. Byrne obtained a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Auburn University. She received a master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an educational specialist degree from Samford University, both in educational leadership. In addition, Mrs. Byrne is a National Board Certified teacher in the area of early childhood/generalist.
As a product of the Shelby County school system herself, Mrs. Byrne feels honored to serve the district as an assistant principal at Elvin Hill Elementary School. She is an active member of her community and enjoys serving as a mission trip coordinator for her church. She resides in Columbiana with her husband Scott and sons Nate and Zeke.