Elliot Smalley

Superintendent of the South Carolina Public Charter School District

In his first year as superintendent, Elliot has established a clear sense of urgency around the need for excellent schools in South Carolina. With a relentless belief in all kids’ potential, Elliot and his team have centered on three strategic priorities: 1) authorizing great charter schools, 2) ensuring access and equity for all students, and 3) growing what works. Previously, he served as Chief of Staff for Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD) from 2012 to 2015, where he led the ASD’s communications and outreach efforts and played a key role in developing the ASD’s start-up and long-term strategy. During his time in Tennessee, the number of ASD schools grew from zero to 29 and catalyzed the improvement of Priority (bottom 5%) schools in Memphis and Nashville. From 2012 to 2015, average student proficiency in Priority schools rose from 17% to 26%—a rate of student growth that tripled the growth of students in non-Priority schools—and students in 2nd and 3rd year ASD schools earned Level 5 growth, the highest possible rating in Tennessee. Before joining the ASD, Elliot was the Deputy of Strategy and Communications for the Charleston County School District, where he led the development of Charleston’s strategic plan and spearheaded the district’s communications efforts. He is a graduate of the Broad Residency, The University of Massachusetts, and the University of Cincinnati, and is currently a member of the 2017 Broad Academy.

In his spare time, Elliot can typically be found practicing Krav Maga—a self-defense system created by the Israeli army—and hanging out in Charleston with his wife Lisa and children Cooper, Benton, and Harper. He is a diehard fan of the LSU Tigers and Boston Red Sox and Celtics.

Back to All Speakers