Selma Smith

Director of Instruction
Surrey School District #36
Canada: British Columbia Hub | NORTH AMERICA

Selma Smith (she/her) is a Director of Instruction with Surrey School District located in southwestern British Columbia, Canada and proudly serves a wonderful community of learners on the shared unceded traditional territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo Coast Salish First Peoples.  Her portfolio of Continuous Learning is a continuum of diverse programs for learners who thrive in alternate or alternative schools.

She is passionate about creating meaningful and engaging school experiences for all learners including adult learners.  Building cohesive teams that can collaborate to serve vulnerable communities excites her.  She has worked as a teacher, counsellor, vice principal, district principal, and adjunct professor. As well, she is a proud first-generation university graduate.

After completing the level one training during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic she continues to embed compassionate systems awareness into her daily living practices. She is passionate about cultivating spaces of belonging and connection where each person’s story can be seen, heard, and valued. She is grateful for this opportunity to continue her journey in compassionate systems awareness and is excited to continue growing her learning to create safer spaces for authentic selves to be present in. Uplifting others and nurturing their spirits is woven in her work.  

She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Geography, Masters degree in Counselling Psychology & Special Education and is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Kansas. Her study is examining the experiences of brand new school principals who started during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Selma is a first generation Canadian of refugee immigrant parents who settled in Vancouver, BC. Her ancestry is Mexican-Mestiza/ German. She is married to an elementary school teacher, is an auntie, caregiver to her mother and dog mom to Bart & Carly. She is fluent in Spanish and basic German.