Principal’s Message

WHOOOOO is Mrs. Smart?

I am Mrs. Beverly Smart, and I am a Start Owl. Start Elementary has always been my home. I began teaching here my second year as an educator in 2005 in 5th grade math, science, and social studies. Over the course of 13 years, I changed grade levels, subjects, and classrooms many times, finishing out my teaching career in 2018 in 5th and 6th grade ELA.

That school year I was given the opportunity to host a yearlong resident from ULM, and that’s when I discovered my passion for coaching teachers and helping them grow in this profession.

In summer of 2018 I accepted the position of Lead Instructional Coach at Rayville Elementary and Rayville Junior High. In an effort to help others understand my new role, I said I was a “teacher gardener” because I help teachers grow. 🙂

Over the course of four years, that “teacher gardener” role blossomed into even bigger opportunities for me. I went on to become a district coach, leading 14 other coaches as they worked to support all of the teachers at their schools, helping them grow and learn. I was also given the task of being the Richland Learning Camp Director, building our district’s summer learning program from the ground up.

The lessons I learned in these past four years have been invaluable. It shaped who I am now and the vision I have for this school. As interim principal of Start Elementary, I am an instructional leader first. My priorities are ensuring the students on this campus receive the high-quality instruction they deserve and supporting the teachers as they implement rigorous and engaging lessons, preparing their students for college and or career readiness. Afterall, we’re preparing our students for jobs that may not even exist yet.

I also value our community and its role in our school and our students’ lives. The way a community invests in a school demonstrates to our students how valuable they are and how important their education is. I will prioritize working with our already established PTO, and I look forward to seeing what we can do working together with aligned goals and priorities.

I am honored to be the interim principal at Start Elementary this school year. I will take all the lessons I learned as a “gardener” of teachers and use them to help our students, our teachers, and our school as a whole grow and bloom!

Mrs. Beverly Smart
Interim Principal