Ellen Smith Teacher of the Year
Degrees and Certifications:
Leah Pierce is a life-long learner who respects and values the diverse backgrounds and learning styles of her students. She loves teaching math and science to elementary-age children and majored in Early Childhood Education at the University of Arkansas, where she also earned her Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
Mrs. Pierce began her career in Springdale, AR teaching fourth grade for six years, four of those being departmentalized as a math, science, and literacy teacher. She was then hired by the Conway School District as her school’s sole fourth grade math teacher. To improve her ability to reach all learners, she earned her ESL Licensure Endorsement in 2007 and implemented those strategies in her everyday classroom. In 2010-2011, she also completed several middle level math and science education courses to improve her practice of teaching in a departmentalized setting. She has served as a mentor teacher for education majors, presented new technology to staff, participated in math pacing for the district, served on the Behavior Committee at her school as well as the district’s Five Year Planning Committee.
Leah takes her job beyond teaching math and science. In 2014, she co-founded the Ellen Smith Running Club, open to all third and fourth grade students at her school. The goal of this club is to promote fitness and fun and give students an avenue of experiencing success outside of the classroom. Mrs. Pierce has organized and successfully directed six end-of-school 5K events for these runners, all free of charge.