School Supt to step down

Dr. Kevin Smith

Dr. Smith announced Friday he might retire, may seek another position elsewhere

Pierce County School Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith will step down when his contract ends in June.

Smith made the announcement at the end of a called BOE meeting Friday morning, following a two hour and seven minute closed session to discuss personnel.

“I will be concluding my superintendency of Pierce County Schools at the end of my contract,” Smith said.

The superintendent said he would “be pursuing other opportunities and options including retirement.” Smith indicated he might look for another position or, he could retire, having served over 39 years in education in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, including 26  years as a high school principal.

Dr. Smith, 62, said he had arrived at the decision to step down after “much prayer and seeking direction from the Lord.”

The superintendent expressed his thanks to the board and to the central office staff.

“I thank the board for being given the honor and privilege of serving Pierce County Schools. I appreciate the opportunity to serve this great community in this capacity. I will always treasure the time I’ve had here and I will leave a little piece of my heart here. I thank my central office staff who have served side-by-side with me. I wish nothing but the best for the staff, students and families in the future. I will be forever grateful and I hope I have made a difference in the lives of young people here,” Smith said.

Many of the central office staff gathered in the board room to hear his remarks.

Chairperson Linda Zechmann praised Smith’s leadership style and “high moral integrity”.

“Dr. Smith has been a steady leader and has guided us through the largest building project in the history of this county with the construction of the new high school and has also led us through dealing with hurricanes, floods and even a snow storm. I thank him for his leadership,” she said.

The personnel session prior to Smith’s announcement had included the superintendent’s annual evaluation. The board has met in closed session to discuss the evaluation several times over the last two months.

There had been rumors that Smith’s contract would not be renewed when it expired in June, but the board never commented publicly about that.

In fact, the board took no action following Friday’s closed session, but then moved to amend the agenda to allow Dr. Smith to address the board and the public and make an announcement.

Smith then announced he was stepping down.

Dr. Smith has served as Pierce County’s School Superintendent since June 2017 following 15 years of service at principal of Jefferson High School in Jefferson near Athens.

He was hired by a 3-2 vote in April 2017 and began as superintendent in June of that year.