Until June 2015, Heather Smith was a principal and teacher at Janeville Elementary School just outside Bathurst. She has a Bachelor of Child Study degree in Elementary and Special Education and a Master of Education in Literacy from Mount Saint Vincent University. Heather has taught for 32 years at the elementary level, all in New Brunswick with her teaching duties primarily split between Kindergarten and Grade 4.

Principals continue to be members of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association and Federation (union), which allowed Heather to assume fulltime duties as President of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association on August 1, 2011 for a two-year term. While in office, Heather was on the negotiating team that maintained the integrity of the NB teachers’ collective agreement and attained a new family discretionary day in a tight, fiscally strapped government environment.

While NBTA President, Heather attempted to meet with many different groups including the Department of Education, politicians, universities, other related professionals and even many in the private sector. It is her belief that, while not all of their views would be the same as those of teachers, it is essential to educate and influence those whose decisions may impact the teachers and students in our education system.

In 2011, Heather received national recognition, being the only New Brunswick educator named by the Learning Partnership as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals for 2011. She has been increasingly drawn towards the challenge of providing comprehensive services for students with high needs, whether they are at-risk for physical, emotional or situational reasons.