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DR. WILLIAM T. SMITH NAMED 2023 SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR
The 2023 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year Dr. William T. Smith
is available to comment on Education-Related Issues.
Trenton, New Jersey, November 14, 2022 ... Dr. William T. Smith, Chief Education Officer, Point Pleasant Beach School District, was selected as New Jersey's 2023 Superintendent of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), and is a candidate for the National Superintendent of the Year Award by the American Association of School Administrators' (AASA). He will be formally acknowledged by the New Jersey State Board of Education at their Annual Recognition Ceremony this winter.
In September, NJASA selected Dr. Smith as the Region III Superintendent of the Year for New Jersey. The other honorees included the Region I recipient – Dr. Laurie W. Newell, Chief Education Officer, Essex Regional Educational Services Commission (ERESC); and Region II recipient – Dr. MaryJane Garibay, Chief Education Officer, Colts Neck Township Schools.
AASA will honor each state representative and select a National Superintendent of the Year at their National Conference on Education in February 2023 in San Antonio, TX. This prestigious program, now in its 36th year, is sponsored by First Student, Corebridge Financial and AASA.
NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard G. Bozza said, "Will exemplifies the best a chief education officer can be. He is a dedicated hard-working professional who continually strives to improve the quality of education for all students."
In accepting this prestigious honor, Dr. Smith said, “My philosophy on teaching and learning has evolved around a core set of principles - Our students succeed when their schools prioritize access and opportunity and encourage creativity and exploration.”
He noted, “As the district leader, I aspire to promote growth and success in every classroom. Schools and students are facing unprecedented challenges from a world that is evolving rapidly, unpredictably. That world is demanding from our students advanced collaboration and content-literacy skills, and it is offering unprecedented opportunities to bring innovative ideas to a ‘flat world’ of hungry consumers of information.”
The 2023 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year continued, “I thank NJASA, the Point Pleasant Beach Board of Education, our administrators, faculty and staff who work so hard in our schools each day, our students and their families, and our school community stakeholders for their support. I am proud and honored to represent the Point Pleasant Beach School District and New Jersey’s chief education officers.”
Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, the Point Pleasant Beach School District, a suburban PK-12 district with two schools and approximately 775 students - 12% are identified as Hispanic, 15% are economically disadvantaged and 17% receive special education services, has expanded the district’s AP course offerings and introduced the concept of open access for all students.
This initiative resulted in a significant increase of 558% in the enrollment of AP courses over a four-year period. Today, more than half of the student body takes at least one AP course during their time in high school.
The New Jersey Superintendent of the Year has a strong record of commitment to the regeneration of public education. He was most instrumental in the development of an early-college degree partnership with Ocean County Community College. The program titled, the Gull Flight School, is a dual enrollment degree that offers Point Pleasant Beach students the opportunity to select from 46-dual enrollment classes and complete an associate degree before graduating from high school.
Additionally, all district schools have been named Apple Distinguished Schools and received Future Ready Schools Silver Tier recognition.
In 2019, Dr. Smith created a staff health and wellness initiative that provides incentives for staff members to participate in a wellness calendar of over 50 activities offered throughout the school year.
A self-described "creativity evangelist," Dr Smith’s core principles of school reform were featured on DisruptEd TV and are key to many of his presentations.
The New Jersey Superintendent of the Year has dedicated 28 years to public education. He was appointed the Chief Education Officer of the Point Pleasant Beach School District in 2016. Previously, he served as the Principal of the Raritan High School in Hazlet.
Dr. Smith entered the field of education as an English teacher in the Point Pleasant Beach School District. He advanced from the classroom to administration at Red Bank Regional High School with a promotion from English teacher to Supervisor and Assistant Principal.
Currently, Dr. Smith serves as the Ocean County Representative to the NJASA Executive Committee. He is the Past President of the Ocean County Association of School Administrators (OCASA) and served as President of OCASA for four consecutive years. He was recognized by OCASA as the Ocean County's Superintendent of the Year in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
The 2023 Superintendent of the Year is an adjunct faculty member at Monmouth University and takes time to serve in other educational organizations, including the Monmouth Ocean Education Services Commission Board of Directors; and the Monmouth University Deans Advisory Council. Presently, he co-chairs the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Education Committee.
Dr. Smith appears regularly at regional and national conferences presenting on varied topics including rigor and equity, Advanced Placement for all students, staff health and wellness, juvenile justice reform, and academic confidence.
He earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Monmouth University. The focus of his dissertation centered on the broad impact of ninth-grade AP World History on schools. He received his Master’s in English Literature from Drew University and earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Bucknell University.
A resident of Sea Girt, he is also a runner and cyclist. He released three albums of original music. His song "Little Padiddle" was featured on NPR's syndicated program “Car Talk.”
AASA will announce the National Superintendent of the Year at its Annual Conference on Education in February 2023.
The New Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of chief education officers and school administrators who lead school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The Association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the Association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both educational and administrative perspectives. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all New Jersey children. The Association is located at 920 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5328. For more information -- PH: 609.599.2900 / Fax: 609.599.9359 / website: www.njasa.net.