Swimming Pen Creek Elementary School



Phone: (904) 336-3475

Degrees and Certificates:

Bachelors of Science, Elementary Education

Masters, Educational Leadership

University of North Florida

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

-The Lorax 

Principal and Title IX Coordinator, Cheryl Larson

Welcome to Swimming Pen Creek Elementary, home of the otters!  Our theme this year is “Be a Game Changer”.  It is my privilege to serve our families as your principal.  I have been an educator in Clay County since 1996.  Creating a safe and nurturing environment where teachers and students can thrive as they work toward the high expectations of meeting the standards is top priority.  I recognize the importance of culture and will work diligently to foster and develop relationships and to keep the child at the center of all decision making.  

At SPC we provide a community where your child feels safe and connected in order for them to learn and grow.  Our team of educators are eager to do the work necessary to motivate and prepare our students to meet the expectations for higher education and lifelong learning.  

SPC offers unique learning opportunities for our students.  We offer a comprehensive kindergarten to sixth grade traditional approach that provides appropriately rigorous grade level instruction in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies using the adopted Clay County curricula.  Our Montessori School Choice program is designed to allow children, ages 3year old to sixth grade, to develop their full potential, both socially and academically. Developed over 100 years ago, the Montessori approach is based on scientific observations of how children grow and develop. Some of the tenets of a Montessori program are; multiage groupings that foster peer learning, uninterrupted learning blocks, individualized & self-paced learning pathways, and teacher-guided student choice of work activity. Our resource team provides instruction in art, music, media and physical education.  Students are also afforded the opportunity to participate in a variety of clubs and activities such as chorus, track and safety patrol.

Our Otter Values set the standard for our community of learners at SPC.  1) We are peaceful. 2) We are responsible. 3) We are safe.  You will see and hear these core values as they are embedded in all aspects of our day to promote individual responsibility.  This common language fosters a sense of unity across our campus.

The partnerships we have with our families and community is critical to our success.  We value the unconditional support that profoundly impacts our students’ education and development!  It truly takes a village, and we encourage you to join us in this endeavor so that we may provide the optimal educational experience for our children. 

It’s going to be a “Game Changing” year at SPC!

Laura Smith assistant principal

Phone: (904) 336-3475

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors of Arts in Education

Masters of Education Educational Leadership

University of North Florida

American College of Education

5 years- Teaching Kindergarten, Title I

3 years- Assistant Principal, Charles E Bennett


Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. C.S. Lewis 

Assistant Principal, Laura Smith

Laura Smith is a passionate and dedicated educator who is SO excited for the opportunity to serve as Assistant Principal at Swimming Pen Creek! She is an alumnus of the University of North Florida. She also received her Masters in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.

After starting her teaching career in Duval County, she transferred to Clay County District Schools in 2016. At Grove Park Elementary she served as the AIMS teacher and Title I Interventionist. While at GPE, she coordinated the initial implementation of a schoolwide PBIS program, Growing Great Gators. She also supported novice teachers with instruction and classroom management and facilitated the MTSS process and ESE compliance.

After briefly serving as the Media Specialist at Charles E Bennett, she transitioned into the Assistant Principal role at CEB in 2019. While at CEB, she assisted in raising the school grade from a “D’ to a “C” during the global pandemic. She created a community mentoring program targeting LPQ students and championed student and family engagement. Mrs. Smith participated in Instructional Rounding for the District and State Bureau of School Improvement.

Laura has been married to her husband Mark for 8 years. She is actively involved at Chets Creek Church, where Mark serves as the Pastor of Connections and Events. They are licensed foster parents and are currently in the process of adopting Elijah, 5 and Olivia, 3.