Educator of the Month

  • Educator of the Month The Board of Education recognizes an educator in our school system whose dedicated work encouraging academic achievement and emotional development, ensures that today’s students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. 

    Dana Smith, School Counselor at Arnold Elementary School, goes above and beyond her responsibilities to help students, staff and parents.  She volunteers her own time and resources to help those in need.  Her amazing knowledge of people and counseling, and her unending energy creates the best learning environment possible for all students. Mrs. Smith is dedicated and committed to improving the Arnold Elementary School and the Arnold community.  She is an educational leader in the classroom and out of the classroom.  She is highly respected among her peers and she collaborates with her teammates for community parent workshops and other community activities. 

    In addition to her to quality weekly lessons she provides for the students, she is always available to help with the individual needs of students who may be experiencing a problem in class, on the playground, or in their personal lives.   She helps her students work through issues and equips them with skills they may need to avoid future problems. She is the soul of discretion and can help students and staff navigate personal issues while maintaining their privacy.  If a problem arises, Dana is the one person that can consistently be relied upon to resolve the issue.   School counselors have been called “educators of character,” a phrase which perfectly describes Dana Smith. 

    Ms. Smith provides outstanding contributions to Arnold Elementary School.   She serves on the Administrative Leadership Team, the Wellness Team, the Principal’s Council, the Crisis Team, the PTA and the after-school Sea Perch Program.  She helped create the Arnold Cares program where students collect toys and clothes for needy community members.  She has organized wellness activities and she runs the School Store where students may spend their “Turtle Tickets.” 

    A colleague of Dana’s told a story about advice she received when she first started teaching to “find the marigolds,” an analogy based on community planting in the garden.  In the garden, the marigold protects the other plants from weeds and pests and encourages healthy growth.  In school, a “marigold” is the person whose presence and dedication encourages you to be better too.  Dana Smith, for the Arnold Elementary school community you are its “marigold,” and you are AACPS at its best! 

    So, on behalf of the Board of Education, the students, teachers and staff of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, we congratulate you on being selected Educator of the Month for February!