FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 19, 2013
The Calvert County Board of Education and Superintendent Jack Smith announced today that Dr. Smith will be leaving his position in August of this year. Dr. Smith has chosen to exercise a clause in his contract that allows him to leave his position upon providing advance notice to the Board.
An interim superintendent will be named and the Board will commence with a search for a permanent replacement for Smith who has served in the role for seven years. Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Smith served as Deputy Superintendent for three years. He also served as a curriculum director and principal in Calvert County. The first 20 years of his career were spent in Washington State and Tokyo, Japan. Upon hearing the news, Board Member Tracy McGuire stated, "It has been my privilege to serve with and learn from Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith has consistently done good work for the Calvert County Public Schools community. I use the word good to describe not just his efforts and outcomes but good in the full sense of the word, good intent, good reason and good purposes.”
Much of the past three years, Smith has been involved in working to improve the components of the Third Wave of Educational Reform in Maryland ushered in by Race to the Top. His work along with colleagues from other counties and statisticians was instrumental in bringing about improvements in the complex and contentious state model for teacher and principal evaluation. "Dr. Smith has taken a lead role in the development of the teacher evaluation system which is tied to student performance and is a large component of the national educational reform movement known as "Race to the Top." stated Dr. Eugene Karol, President of the Board.
During Dr. Smith’s time as Superintendent, the Calvert County Public School System has profoundly increased the number of students in Advanced Placement and other highly rigorous programs. The school system has enhanced and modernized many of our Career and Technology Education programs so they meet the needs of students who are graduating in this century, not the last one. He has also led the planning and implementation of significant middle and high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. In addition, his leadership in this area has resulted in revisions to curricula that integrate STEM units at the elementary and middle school levels. Dr. Smith’s leadership exemplifies the belief that a rigorous program of study combined with engaging, meaningful classrooms is the best way to help students become college and career ready.
"I thank Dr. Smith for his years of service and dedication to Calvert County Public Schools. He is leaving a legacy of high academic achievement. I wish Dr. Smith the best in his future endeavors.” commented Board Member Joe Chenelly. He went on to say, "Finding a new, highly-capable superintendent who will lead our system moving forward in these trying times is a crucial and daunting task we are now taking on with urgency.”
The school system has accomplished a great deal under Dr. Smith’s leadership. Calvert’s position as one of the top-rated public school systems in Maryland is due in large part to Dr. Smith’s visionary leadership.
During one of the most challenging times in the history of public education, Dr. Smith has gracefully and purposefully led the school system to success. He has balanced fiscal challenges with system needs and helped to move Calvert County Public Schools forward. Board Member Dawn Balinski, said, "Calvert County has been lucky to have one of the most highly regarded superintendents in Maryland leading our school system for the last 7 years. Under Jack Smith’s leadership, our schools have been given the resources and set on the path to graduate excellent students ready to compete in the 21st century – all of this despite challenging financial constraints. I am thankful for his tireless dedication to Calvert County’s schools and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Leaving one of the highest performing school systems in the state, and arguably the nation, will not be easy according to Smith. In a letter to staff, Dr. Smith said that he feels a mixture of sadness and excitement about the change—sad to leave such a great organization and so many fine people, but excited to pursue other intriguing opportunities. Smith also indicated a need for more time in his life as he and his wife, Gayle, recently welcomed their first grandchild, Henry, into the family on May 13 of this year. In his letter to the staff, Smith also indicated that he does not regret one hour he spent serving Calvert County Schools. He said, "I have loved this work. My very best to every staff member, every student and to all the families who depend on our schools to teach their children and to the Board of Education as they guide the school system on behalf of the community.”
Kelly McConkey Board Vice President summed it up this way, "I would like to thank Dr. Smith for his many years of hard work and dedication to CCPS. I have only had the opportunity to work with him for 6 months. I have seen how demanding the role of the superintendent is. It is not an easy job, and some would say it is a thankless job. I wish Dr. Smith good luck in any future endeavors.”