Principal Fatima Smith
Ms. Fatima Smith’s passion for school leadership stems from the belief that every single child irrespective of zip code or socioeconomic status -deserves a premiere educational experience. Prior to this, Ms. Fatima Smith served as the principal of Patrick Henry School of Science & Arts Charter. Under her leadership PHSSA, was recognized as a 2022 National Green Ribbon School, received a charter proclamation on the VA Senate floor and hosted their first Regional Academic Tournament for Science, History & Geography. PHSSA fourth graders won the White House Historical Association Prize at the 2022 Virginia History Day Competition, nine PHSSA scholars competed at the National Science Bee competition in Orlando Florida and PHSSA experienced marked growth on the 2022 Virginia SOL assessment! Her past experience also includes serving as a school Principal and as an Assistant Principal in Pennsylvania. Ms. Smith taught secondary English Language Arts, Technical Writing & Art History in Washington, DC and in Brooklyn, NY. She is a New York City Teaching Fellows alum, as well as a former District of Columbia Public Schools Capital Commitment Fellow; a prestigious program for the "50 Best Teacher Recruits of the Year." In those roles, Ms. Smith served her school communities in various capacities including; as a School Leadership Team member, a Middle Grades Team Lead, a Cheerleading Coach, the Girls Mentoring Chairperson, a Teacher Selection Ambassador and as a New York City Regents & Common Core State Exam scorer to name a few. Ms. Smith holds a Bachelor's degree in English, Journalism and Communication from Old Dominion University, a Master's of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from St. John's University and has Pre-K-12 Principal Certification in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Ms. Smith is committed to building the capacity of both teachers and students while engaging in dynamic 21st century learning opportunities. Ms. Smith looks forward to continuing her work with all stakeholders as she strives to take the Oak Grove-Bellemeade School community to new heights.
Assistant Principal Dr. Joyce Otey
As the new Assistant Principal of Oak Grove Bellemeade Elementary School, Dr. Joyce Otey is incredibly grateful and excited to join the Oak Grove Teddy Bears! She looks forward to working in partnership with Principal Smith and the staff - to continue the work of advocating for and providing all students and families with an educational experience where values and diversity are celebrated. Prior to joining Oak Grove Bellemeade, Dr. Otey was the SPACE or Gifted and Talented teacher at G.H. Reid, Woodville and Oak Grove Bellemeade Schools. She has taught grades Kindergarten through fifth at Chimborazo and J.L. Francis Elementary Schools. During her tenure as a classroom teacher, Dr. Otey held numerous leadership positions such as a facilitator for Social Science Professional Development for grades Kindergarten through second, Community Night Organizer, Safety and Security chairperson, Grade Level chairperson, Cheerleading Coach, Teacher of the Year, REB nominee, Extended Day coordinator and Mentor teacher for beginning teachers. Dr. Otey holds an Associate in Science degree in Education from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Virginia Union University, a Master of Education and Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Doctor of Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University. Dr. Otey enjoys the challenge of education, working with teachers, parents, and students. She is committed to working alongside Principal Smith- as we continue to provide leadership and build a structure of collaborative relationships in the school and community - so that ALL students have a variety of opportunities to succeed! Dr. Otey looks forward to meeting all students and families this coming school year!