School Administrator To Leave For Tiny District


The Broward County Schools has lost a veteran.

Erlean Smiley, deputy superintendent for curricula and instruction, is leaving to become superintendent of McCormick School District in South Carolina.

She goes from one of the top administrators in Broward, to the head of the three-school district, probably in June.  It is so small, the schools aren’t named other than “elementary school, “middle school and “high school.

Broward has 278 schools and more than 382,000 students.  Smiley supervised a budget of about $285 million out of the county’s operating budget of about $5 billion.

The school administrator had one brush with politics.  Smiley came in second in a 2008 Democratic primary in the central Broward and Palm Beach County state Senate District 29 to now-state Sen. Chris Smith.  

One thing she’ll face in South Carolina that she faced here budget cuts.
The South Carolina state Legislature has been cutting billions from the education budget.

Her former campaign website outlines Smiley’s biography:

“Born as the third of four children to Mary and Fred Collins on August 2,1951, she grew up in the “free state of Jones County, in that part of south Mississippi’s “Piney Woods that lies between the opulent country club elite and the impoverished cotton fields of sharecroppers. 

Smiley was an active participant in student activities and held a number of leadership positions in organizations such as Student Council, Delta Debs, Drama Club, and she was Recording Secretary of her church’s Sunday School. This pattern for leadership continued through college, where she was active in social justice issues and held class office during her sophomore year. 

Although her parents did not have the opportunity to complete high school, they were adamant that their children would know the value of an education.  Pursuit of a college degree was expected of Earlean, her sisters and brother.  In fact, they were reminded of this regularly at the dinner table.  

With her high school senior year approaching and two sisters in college it proved quite a challenge for her parents to send her to a four-year college. Determined to attend college, Earlean applied for and received financial aid based on her academic record.  She left Mississippi to attend Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she majored in Drama, Speech and English. Graduating with honors early, after the first semester of year four, she married and moved to Fort Lauderdale where she began her career as a special education teacher at Northeast High School in Broward, instead of making her debut on Broadway.” 

Smiley later got a Master’s Degree at Nova Southeastern and the rest is Broward schools history.

7 Responses to “School Administrator To Leave For Tiny District”

  1. Git R Done says:

    She’s a Great Asset to the Broward School System, too bad she is leaving. But, maybe she will do much better for a smaller district that will recognize her efforts and realize what she has to offer, because this Broward School District never did and it was a real shame. Maybe she see’s what nasty awful people are here in this System and she must go, good thinking Earlean

  2. Carolyn Hardy says:

    What a loss for Broward Public Schools System!!!! Dr. Smiley, you have done well and so much for the children in Broward County. THANK YOU for being you!!!! We will miss you, but know that we wish you well and great success in South Carolina.
    The Hardy Family


    Many in Broward will tell you that this system is one that “eats its own”. She too, is a hard working victim of a very sick system that refuses to allow those who could heal it, do so. Best she seek a more positive opportunity to attain her just rewards. –Only great luck should follow her!

  4. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I couldn’t have said it any better than the three people who wrote above. Her leaving will be a huge loss to the corrupt Broward County School system and the Buddy System.

  5. 411 says:

    Congratulations Dr. Smiley! Broward has lost a fine Administrator! I wish her nothing but the best!

  6. SamIam says:

    Her god daughter was the principal arrested for using the wrong ID at the car rental

  7. Julia Shibler Landrum says:

    She was my high school language arts teacher. And she instilled in me a love of education. I still remember her reading Charles Dickens “David Copperfield” in class. I couldn’t wait for the next chapter. She was ALWAYS very organized, professional and respectful to all students. Good luck to her in her future travels.