by Mary Alys Cherry
Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith has been selected as Texas Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards in Austin.
“I am honored,” he said Sunday on his return, “to have been selected as Superintendent of the Year and humble enough to know that it could not have happened without having a great team made up of trustees, cabinet members, staff, parents but most of all, great students!”
Ken Baliker, president of the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees, was quite happy to hear the news.
“The CCISD Board was delighted to hear the announcement honoring Dr. Greg Smith as Texas 2012 Superintendent of the Year. He is in elite company.
”Greg has been a model of courageous leadership in lean times facing public education, and we look to him to continue to provide instructional, financial and administrative leadership locally and through CCISD’s membership in the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.”
Other state finalists for the prestigious award included René Gutiérrez, Edinburg CISD; Charles Dupre, Pflugerville ISD; Dennis McEntire, Presidio ISD; and Michael Zolkoski, Ysleta ISD.
Smith, CCISD superintendent for the past four years, serves more than 40,000 students and has 27 years of administrative experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Oakland University, master’s degree at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and doctorate at Texas A&M University at College Station.
Candidates are chosen for their dedication to improving educational quality, board/superintendent relations, student achievement, and commitment to public support and involvement in education.
The state selection committee, which interviewed regional winners in Austin, focused on such issues as the demands for America’s workforce, public education funding and the pending school finance lawsuit, successful board relationships, technology integration, and academic excellence.
The selection committee noted that student success in the district could be credited in large part to Smith’s attention to changing demographics and also noted that he faced recent funding issues by attacking the budget with a scalpel instead of a machete.
His efforts to host job fairs, keep children of laid-off NASA employees enrolled, and, after Hurricane Ike, get school back in session in two weeks were also cited.
Superintendents from any of the state’s 1,034 school districts are eligible for nomination by their local boards of trustees. District nominees are submitted to a regional selection committee, which submits one nominee per region to the state selection committee. Smith received an award and a Superintendent of the Year ring from Balfour, program underwriter. State finalists also received an award from Balfour.
TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local public school districts. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 4.9 million students.