DeSoto ISD Celebrates Principals

National Principals Month 2022

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Let's Celebrate CHE Principal Cathye Smith...

Full Name: Cathye Smith

Campus: Cockrell Hill Elementary

How many years have you served as a DeSoto ISD principal?: This is my first year.

What are you enjoying most as a leader of a DeSoto ISD campus?

I am enjoying learning the campus and neighborhood communities.

A principal wears many hats, what is the primary hat that you wear as you lead your campus community and why?

My primary hat is instructional. I must ensure that our students are learning at a Tier 1 level and that the culture of our school is felt in the community.

I believe in order to have a premier school, there has to be a balance in instruction, culture, and safety.

What does it mean to fly and how does this definition guide your daily practice?

To fly means to rise above the status quo and the perception of what the community believes is the standard in DeSoto ISD. This definition guides my daily practice of increasing teacher capacity through coaching and maintaining cultural awareness in the building and community.

Please share an impactful moment as a school administrator and how it fuels your daily actions.

Impactful moments occur on our campus daily. I see students walking into the building with smiles on their faces, waiting for their teachers to greet them at the door, and students being actively engaged in meaningful lessons. It fuels my daily focus which is to ensure students are receiving the highest level of instructional rigor in the classroom.

As a principal, how does leadership impact student experience and achievement and in what way do you maintain a pulse on your campus to ensure student success?

Leadership impacts student experience and achievement through culture and classroom academics. I maintain a cultural pulse on my campus by supporting specific cultural days (Tejano/Tejana day), academic nights, coffee and cupcakes with the counselor, etc. Beginning in November, we will also add pastries and punch with the principal.

We ensure academic success on our campus by utilizing the demonstration of learning and varied assessments to guide small group instruction, intervention and tutoring sessions, and through intentional and meaningful lesson planning.

Please share a word of advice for aspiring campus leaders.

"It is okay to say, I NEED HELP! Give yourself grace. Learn and plan intentionally."

Want to send a word of appreciation to CHE Principal Smith?