Myra J. Smith, Ed.D
Dr. Myra J. Smith is a lecturer of educational leadership at the School of Education, Loyola University Maryland. Her research interests are grounded in professional learning communities (PLCs) and the role of the principal initiating the work, creating, and sustaining the school as a professional learning community (PLC). The literature is very clear about the characteristics of academically successful schools operating as PLCs and (Hord, 2004) espoused that these attributes of PLCs are not isolated, rather intertwined in practice: supportive and shared leadership, shared values and vision, collective learning and application of learning, supportive conditions, and shared practice. Each attribute affects the others in a variety of ways. Dr. Smith studied the PLC conceptual framework and implemented in practice during her tenure as a principal in Montgomery County Public Schools. Moreover, during her tenure as a community superintendent, she facilitated principals’ meetings, convened one-on-one coaching conversations to support principals in creating and operating their schools as PLCs. Her work included monitoring school improvement processes to ensure that schools’ performance goals were aligned to system milestones and the learning needs of students and adults. Dr. Smith’s leadership repertoire also included problem of practice forums and strategic feedback regarding school improvement efforts to build the capacity of instructional leaders. Her scholarship has been featured in professional and academic settings including: the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Maryland Principals’ Academy (planning team and presenter), Center for Educational Leadership Convening for District Leaders, and The Council for Educational, Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland (CEASOM). Dr. Smith the invited keynote speaker shared her expertise for the topic, Systemic and Sustainable School Improvement for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, professional development conference. Collaborating with colleagues Loyola University Maryland colleagues, Dr. Smith is the chairman of, The Art of Leadership conference which will convene in the fall.
Prior to joining the Education Specialties team at Loyola University Maryland, Dr. Smith served as an elementary school principal in Baltimore County and Montgomery County Public Schools. Furthermore, she worked at the district level as a director of school performance in Montgomery County Public Schools supervising elementary and secondary school principals. Dr. Smith’s leadership, expertise, and skill as an effective instructional leader was recognized and she was appointed to the superintendent’s executive leadership team as a community superintendent for a region supporting elementary and secondary school principals in Montgomery County Public Schools to ensure a quality education for students by supervising, supporting, and evaluating principals.
She earned her Doctorate of Education degree in education leadership, higher education, and policy studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Master of Education, at Towson University, and Bachelor of Science degree from Coppin State College.