The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Denise Smith is New Dayton Elem. Principal

The Deer Park resident started duties Aug. 7


August 10, 2017

Times File Photo

Denise Smith addressed Dayton residents at a public meeting earlier this month.

DAYTON-Denise Smith of Deer Park, Wash., has been chosen by school officials to be the new Dayton Elementary Principal, and she will begin work , officially, on Monday, Aug. 7.

"I'm so excited. I'm getting ready to move," said Smith speaking from her home in Deer Park, where she was busy packing her household.

Smith plans to rent a home in Walla Walla for herself and her 16 year old son, Michael, who is a high school junior. Smith also has a 20-year-old daughter, Lexi, who is an incoming junior at WSU.

Smith earned her principal certification in June, 2017 from Whitworth University. She has been a classroom teacher for the past twenty-two years and has teaching experience in first and second grades, and in a first/second grade combination classroom, as well as in Special Education..

Smith said she intends to hit the ground running. She has already attended a two-day workshop for new principals in Tumwater.

Speaking at the special school board meeting last Tuesday, Chairman of the Board of Directors Dan Butler said he could understand why Smith received support from the school staff for the position of elementary principal.

Butler said Smith was one of his students when he taught high school in Spokane in the 1980s.

"She's a good person. I know that for sure," said Butler.

"Smith brings a passion for education and for students to her work," said Superintendent Doug Johnson.

Not only does Smith have 22 years of classroom experience to her credit, but she has the ability to create and build positive relationships with colleagues, parents, and students, he said.

Johnson said Smith also has a rich internship experience including decision making, conflict resolution, and the ability to make instructional decisions based on the use of data.

Three candidates went through the interview process for the position of elementary principal, and all three brought desirable qualities to the table, Johnson said.

At the end of the interview process and final review, Johnson made the recommendation to the Board of Directors that they approved Smith for the next principal of the Dayton Elementary School, which they did.


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