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Chad Smith, EdD

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

Chad Smith, Ed.D is a creative and thoughtful leader in academia, particularly within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines.


Chad Smith PrincipalA former entrepreneur who previously worked in telecommunications, business management, and finance, Chad took a not-so-conventional path into teaching— and thus from the start, he has been interested in what sparks people’s interests in education. For Chad, it was a life-threatening injury that left him hospitalized and provided him with the clarity he needed to choose a more fulfilling career. However, as Chad’s extensive research has shown over the years, there are a number of important factors that make or break a person’s view toward STEM education.

In each of his teaching roles and even more so in his administrative roles, Chad Smith has emphasized the importance of STEM education. He taught Earth Science and Oceanography at Baldwin Park High School and Fullerton High School and then returned to his Alma Mater, Tustin High School, as an Earth Science teacher. In 2007-2008, Chad became the Assistant Principal at Tustin High, where he immediately began to develop and implement numerous specialized programs.

Chad took a two-pronged approach to the programs he worked on at Tustin. By creating a STEM program, he enabled students to take specialized classes and learn more about the subjects directly. Simultaneously, by creating One to One notebook computer programs and enhancing the THS online learning platform, Chad seamlessly integrated technology into the education system and proved its ubiquity and overall value as a learning tool and as a field of study. As a results-driven educator Chad believes that it is his duty not only to envision bright futures for his students, but to inspire students to take the most effective paths to get there.

Chad Smith is currently working toward his Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California. He based his Doctor of Education dissertation on the unfortunately neglected phenomenon of “math anxiety,” which is spurred by low self-efficacy and the influence of early school teachers and parents alike. Math anxiety results in a U.S. STEM pipeline that is diminishing at an alarming rate, and it is integral that we redefine the role of STEM in our current and future generations of bright minds. Chad has conducted research in two middle schools to observe the effects of math anxiety in its earlier stages.

In each of his principal roles and in his current role asCoordinator of Pupil Services at Capistrano Unified, Chad has distilled and improved the overall visions of schools while tailoring them to more aptly suit the increasingly STEM-based requirements of today’s world.