Award Year: 2013

Ellen Smith Elementary School

1601 South Donaghey Stree
Conway, AR, 72034-8634

(501) 450-4815

DeLanna Lacy, Principal at time of Nomination

Conway School District

School Website


With family and community, Ellen Smith is committed to implementing a variety of strategies helping students reach their highest potential and become responsible, productive citizens.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 23%
  • White: 60%
  • Hispanic: 14%
  • Asian: 3%
  • ELL: 10%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Ellen Smith serves a diverse population of students through a commitment to educating “every child, every day, whatever it takes”. With 545 students and 49 instructional and support staff, the tradition of building character along with a strong academic foundation is what makes Ellen Smith stand out among the nine elementary schools in Conway, Arkansas, also known as the City of Colleges.

To build stability within our school family, everyone works collaboratively to organize non-traditional learning experiences, taking full advantage of the knowledge and expertise of our community. From monthly student-led Character Education assemblies and Enrichment Day, our students are learning life skills that will enable them to become adults with strong character and healthy lifestyles.

Implementation of WatchDOGS (Dads of Great Students) has enhanced our learning environment and strengthened campus security. This program provides academic support to students in need of one to one instruction. In a predominately female environment the presence of a male role model is a welcome sight to everyone, especially those students in desperate need of a “father figure”. Another strength includes relationships fostered through extra-curricular activities, such as: Art Club, Chess Club, Jump Rope Team, Tiger Tones Choir, and Little Dribblers. Cultivating parent rapport through various activities, including an annual Parent Teacher Organization Chili Cook-off, volunteer tea, and home visits nurtures a strong home-school connection.

Ellen Smith has received numerous accomplishments that deem us worthy of the highly-esteemed title of a National Blue Ribbon School. Ellen Smith continues to lead the state in academic performance on national/state assessments. Developing relationships while maintaining high expectations without regard to demographics, enables Ellen Smith to remain a top performing school.