Dr. Ivy Smith

A pic of Dr. Smith

Dr. Ivy Smith, Principal
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A commitment to being a lifelong learner is at the core of my educational beliefs. Valdosta State University has been instrumental in my quest in becoming an educational leader. After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree and Masters’ Degree in Middle Grades Education specializing in mathematics, I earned an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership in 2009 and a Doctoral Degree from the American College of Education in June of 2020.

I was honored to be selected by my colleagues as Pine Grove Middle’s Teacher of the Year in 2010 and later named the Lowndes County Teacher of Year and Top 10 Teacher Finalists for the State of Georgia. Additionally, I was the recipient of the Lowndes County Schools’ GREAT Leadership Award, Valdosta State University’s Educator Hall of Fame, as well as the Georgia Department of Education’s STEM Visionary and Leadership Award. Recently, the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals selected me as one of six Principal of the Year finalists for the state of Georgia.

During the 2013 school year, I began serving as the assistant principal at Pine Grove Middle School and in January of 2015 transitioned to the role of instructional leader/principal. After diligently working over a three year period, Pine Grove Middle became the ninth middle school in Georgia to be awarded STEM program certification. In 2019, I transitioned to Hahira Middle School as principal. My educational beliefs can be summed up in the words of Rita Pierson, “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”