Skip Navigation
Contact Us

From the Desk of Mrs. Stefan Smith


Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to Shelton Academy—a place to learn and flourish, with a capacity for innovation, a strong sense of community, and a steadfast commitment to developing the whole student that makes this a truly special place to grow roots and wings...

We are a school grounded in timeless values with a modern vision. Our goal is to foster an environment at Shelton in which everyone can comfortably experiment and reach their potential. Academic excellence is expressed in our challenging curriculum, taught by dedicated teachers to engaged students, with the common desire to go further than anyone thought possible. Embracing the Reggio Emilia approach, teachers, parents, and students are collaborators on this journey. Our pupils’ stories are concomitant to teachers who challenge them, peers who encourage them, families who support them, and endless opportunities for their interests and talents to flourish.

I spent a decade in the classroom in both the public and private sectors after making a leap from the world of television journalism. I arrived at Shelton as a 5th grade teacher the year of its opening. An avid traveler, my journeys have taken me across six continents. I’ve always come back home here, where for years I brought my love of photography, world cultures, and languages to my students as a history and geography teacher. After an incredible experience with a talented cohort of educational leadership master’s degree students at Vanderbilt University, I now have the unique privilege of leading the extraordinary team that each and every day builds the dream that is Shelton.

My vision in education is clear: a diverse environment where we are all co-learners, encouraging lifelong curiosity and maximizing the tremendous opportunities afforded to us at Shelton Academy, this exceptional place we call our second home. We are committed to educating the whole student—intellectually, socially, and ethically—and this is at heart of every interaction we have with our parents and children.

With our well-known Model United Nations, National Honor Societies, innovative and diverse course offerings, advanced curriculum, sports, and programs for the whole family, we will accomplish our goal of motivating our students to explore areas they might not have previously considered, and in doing so, reach heights they never thought possible.

We look forward to immense growth, meaningful connections, and great triumphs. Our institution’s best days are yet ahead… Only together can we achieve great things!


Paola Stefan Smith, M.Ed.
"We are extremely fortunate to be part of the Shelton family. My son loves his school and is very happy every day. We cannot ask for more!"
- Ingrid Evers, Parent