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Lebanaye Smalls selected to lead Pepperhill Elementary for 2023-24 school year
Charleston County School District (CCSD) is excited to announce and welcome Lebanaye Smalls as principal at Pepperhill Elementary School effective July 1, 2023. Smalls has served as the assistant principal at Hunley Park Elementary School in North Charleston since 2018.
In 2006, Smalls began her career in CCSD at Minnie Hughes Elementary School as a kindergarten teacher. Over the next five years, Smalls worked to grow school-to-home relations while creating and implementing rigorous lesson plans as the kindergarten lead teacher. She was also named the 2008- 2009 Minnie Hughes Teacher of the Year. Noticed for her leadership and instructional skills, Smalls was selected to serve as the master reading teacher at E.B. Ellington Elementary in 2011. In this role, Smalls provided small group instruction to students who scored below the 25th percentile using a variety of reading recovery and literacy intervention programs and strategies to help increase proficiency. She also helped create the school literacy plan and individual student literacy plans.
With demonstrated success in improving student literacy outcomes, Smalls became a district reading coach at E.B. Ellington (2014-2016) and Edmund A. Burns Elementary (2016-2018). As a reading coach, she collaborated with instructional coaches, literacy specialists, school leadership, and teachers to provide professional development opportunities in school reading and writing curriculum and model lessons for the classroom.
In 2018, Smalls joined the administration at Hunley Park Elementary as assistant principal. Over the last five years, Smalls has steadfastly assisted with leading the school’s vision, mission, and strategic goals to support state standards, academic, and socio-emotional success for all students. Additionally, she has supported the principal in collaborative development, implementation, and ongoing refinement of the school’s yearlong plan created by the University of Virginia Partnership for Leaders in Education Program. She has also been instrumental in helping the school reduce its suspension rate from 22.9% to 0.4% and increase its teacher retention by 10% over the last five years.
“As the former Assistant Principal at Hunley Park Elementary, Lebanaye Smalls has proven that she has the leadership abilities to build a strong culture and engage staff and community in sustaining success,” said Associate Superintendent of Acceleration Schools Jackie Haynes. “I am confident that Ms. Smalls's commitment to educating all students will renew and transform hearts and minds in the Pepperhill school and immediate community.”
Smalls holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from South Carolina State University and a Master of Education in Elementary Education from Charleston Southern University. She is also certificated in Elementary Administration and Supervision and earned an education specialist degree in Instructional Leadership from Argosy Atlanta University. Smalls is a member of numerous professional organizations and has participated in a variety of professional programs, including the 2022-2023 Assistant Principal Institute, 2021 Racial Equity Institute, 2020 Leading Educators cohort, 2017 Principals for Tomorrow program, and 2016 Aspire Plus cohort. She is also a 2022-2023 South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) Assistant Principal of the Year Nominee.