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Meet our Principal, Dr. Smith

Dr. Charles D. Smith was born in Jasper, Texas.  He is the eldest of five children.  Although he is a proud native of Jasper, his childhood experiences are rooted in the streets of the Los Angeles and Long Beach communities.  As a child, he attended 92nd Street Elementary School, an LAUSD school. He is a proud high school graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School.  Upon graduating from high school, Dr. Smith attended California State University, Long Beach where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Administration.  Additionally, he attended California State University, Dominguez Hills for his teaching Credentials and California State University, Los Angeles where he received a Master of Arts in Education Administration and a Tier I Administrative Services Credential.  To further his educational experiences, Charles attended the University of California, Irvine to receive his Tier II Administrative Services Credential.  Most recently, he attended the University of Southern California (USC) where he received a Doctorate in Education defending his dissertation on October 22, 2013.  Dr. Smith’s dissertation focused on Leadership Strategies Employed by K-12 Urban Superintendents to Improve the Academic Achievement of English Language Learners.


Dr. Smith has been employed with the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 19 years where he has served as Teacher, Department Chair, Title I Programs Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Elementary Principal and is now the Principal of New Open World Academy, a K-12 Pilot School.  These experiences have helped to cultivate his leadership skills as well as his values of collegiality. Those who work closely with him know that he is a person who highly values diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.  His values as an urban educator have been heavily shaped through his years of personal experience and professional service. He has learned to be an advocate for high expectations and equity for all students regardless of circumstances, and he is ultimately committed to closing the Achievement Gap of all students.  Dr. Smith considers himself a champion for children, a leader of school improvement, and an advocate for reform.  He is excited about entering his fifth year working with the NOW Academy school community and students.