About Y.E. Smith

  • Otis

    Principal: Otis Maben 

    Principal Message

    Greetings Tiger Family 

    I am Mr. Otis Maben I began my education career in Durham Public Schools at Pearsontown Elementary School and later transitioned to Wake County Public School Systems as a Third Grade Teacher at Walnut Creek Elementary School. I spent 6 years teaching within Wake County at both Walnut Creek Elementary and Wilburn Elementary school before accepting an administration position in Durham Public Schools. Over the last 5 years I have served as an assistant principal at Southern High School, Rogers-Herr Middle School and Fayetteville Street Elementary School. I intentionally wanted to see all three levels to fully understand the whole child. This year marks my twelfth year in education where I now serve as the PROUD Principal of Y.E Smith Elementary School.

    I received my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from North Carolina Central University. In addition to that I have a Masters in Elementary Education from Liberty University as well as a Masters in School Administration from North Carolina State University.

    I seek to connect with all the families of Y.E Smith and push each and every one of my scholars to their greatest potential. Together we can make your dreams a reality. 

    Remember Tigers are LEADERS, Tigers are BRAVE and Tigers NEVER GIVE UP!

    Tigers ROAR!


    Lisa Smith A P

    Assistant Principal: Lisa B. Smith

    Assistant Principal Message

    Hello Tigers!

    I am your Assistant Principal, Lisa Smith.  I began my educational career teaching 4th grade in Caswell County Schools.  I then transitioned to teach second and third grades in Richmond, Va., where I was born.  My husband and I decided to move back to North Carolina, where I spent most of my educational career.  There I had the privilege of teaching 2nd-5th grades, AIG and I was also an instructional coach mentoring teachers in my school.  Over the last 4 years I transitioned to Assistant Principal with Durham Public Schools right here at YE Smith. This year marks my twenty-seventh year in education. 

    I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (Aggie Pride). In addition to that, I have a Masters in School Administration from Gardner Webb University. I am a wife, a mother of four beautiful children, and the grandmother of two.

    I believe that education can change the lives of the scholars at YE Smith Elementary.  Each of our students are curious, talented, and smart, and I will do my best to develop the gifts in everyone of them. 
    Let’s go TIGERS!

    Address:  2410 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27703
    Phone:  919-560-3900
    Email Address: yesmithelementaryschool@gmail.com 
    Hours of Operation:  7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. 
    Enrollment:  310

    Welcome to Y.E. Smith Elementary Museum School!  Here at Smith, our goal is to foster a caring and supportive learning environment that promotes high expectations, active student participation, parental involvement, and the development of the whole child, in order to increase student achievement and to enable all children to be 21st century global learners.

    Y.E. Smith is unique because it is a museum-themed school. Our Museum Partners include:  The Durham History Hub, The Nasher Art Museum, Duke Gardens, Ackland Museum, The North Carolina Museum of Art, and The Museum of Life and Science.  

    Y.E. Smith is a uniform school.  This means that students wear uniforms to school daily, with the exception of the last Friday of each month.  The last Friday of the month is College Friday, where students and teachers are permitted to wear college attire.

    There are many great things happening at Y.E. Smith.  We encourage you to come for a visit and see for yourself.  Our school motto is "Every scholar, every day, thriving in every way." We would love for you to become part of our success.

    Y.E. Smith Museum Elementary School,

    where teachers and students work side-by-side,

    doing our best with Tiger PRIDE.

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    Preparing critical thinkers through



    Diversity awareness and