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Smith Named Lone Finalist To Become Belton ISD Superintendent

Dr. Matt Smith

Tonight, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees selected Dr. Matthew L. Smith as the lone finalist to become the district’s next superintendent. Currently the Chief of Staff in Leander ISD, Smith has more than two decades of experience in public education serving as a classroom teacher, at-risk program coordinator, athletic director, campus administrator and district administrator.

“The Belton ISD Board of Trustees are excited to have selected a candidate that understands how to remain focused on student success while addressing a district’s fast-growth,” President Suzanne McDonald said. “Matt’s career in public education started in the classroom and his experience demonstrates a true passion for leading effective teams dedicated to improving student outcomes. We believe he will embrace and enhance our district’s culture as we grow and shape the future of our students and community.”

The Board voted unanimously to name Smith as the lone finalist after a community-driven search process that included a survey, community focus groups and a national search. Community members prioritized an understanding of managing growth, a career in education, stewardship of district resources, and experience with a multi-high school district as priorities for the next superintendent. Responses also focused on identifying a leader with strong listening skills, a commitment to team building, and a willingness to be involved in the greater BISD community.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to become the next superintendent of Belton ISD,” said Smith. “I look forward to building relationships with the students, staff, parents and community members as we continue to provide an education that is dedicated to the success of every student in our system. These are exciting times for this district and I am confident that we will learn together, grow together and evolve with a steadfast focus on creating exceptional student learning experienc

Dr. Matthew Smith has served as the Chief of Staff/Deputy Superintendent in Leander ISD since 2017 after two years as Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. In LISD, Smith has led district initiatives such as implementing a District of Innovation plan, initiating a system-wide focus on professional learning communities (PLCs), conducting a curriculum management audit, and facilitating a community Program Advisory Committee. As Acting Superintendent during LISD’s recent superintendent transition process, Smith presented and passed a $500 million budget for the 2019-2020 school year and continued his strategic leadership role in addressing cross-departmental, critical challenges for a district which includes 43 campuses across 200 square miles within multiple cities. During his tenure in Leander, the district grew from 37,158 students to 41,326 and opened three new elementary schools and one new high school.

From 2010 to 2015, Smith was at Hillsboro School District in Hillsboro, Oregon, moving up the ranks to the position of Executive Director of Secondary Schools. In this role he provided executive level leadership for all aspects of four middle schools, four high schools, and two alternative education programs in a school district of 21,000 students.

Smith, who started his career as an English Language Arts teacher in Virginia, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University-West in Tempe, Arizona, where he was working in nearby Agua Fria United High School District as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and high school campus principal from 2001 to 2010. Smith graduated with his doctorate in School Leadership from Concordia University in December 2019.

Smith grew up in Middlesex, New York, and graduated from Marcus Whitman High School. He and his wife, Heather, are the proud parents of two daughters: Hailey, age 16, and Summer, age 13.

State law requires a 21-day waiting period before hiring a lone finalist for superintendent. Smith is slated to succeed former BISD superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon, who is now superintendent of Waco ISD.  Dr. Robin Battershell has served as BISD’s interim superintendent since August.

The BISD board will consider Smith’s contract during their regular monthly meeting on February 17 and he is scheduled to begin on February 24.

 

January 27, 2020