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Smith to lead Cheetahs for third year

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Chamisa Elementary turns 45 this year, with Principal Debbie Smith in her third year, as the top cheetah.
Even though the start of school is next week, Smith is eager to begin by welcoming more than 50 new families to the fold.
What has the greatest appeal for Smith?
“Building on our relationship with neighboring San Ildefonso Pueblo and Northern New Mexico communities, celebrating student success and providing challenging individual opportunities,” Smith said.
Smith has spent a good portion of the summer preparing their yearlong calendar to be set before school starts, collaborating with parents, the community and working with the new PTO board.
Smith will add five new staff members to the roster, after several retirements last year, and a few teachers moving to new locations.
The 2012-2013 school year will find the staff continuing their work on Common Core Standards, with a positive shift toward more problem-solving and performance-based tasks.
“Teaching teams will create opportunities for students to use their skills and knowledge to solve problems in real world situations,” Smith said. “The emphasis will be to think like a mathematician, communicate like an author and research like a journalist.”


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