::: Photo LeVonn Brown :::
Dr. Anthony Smith is the new superintendent for Clayton County Public Schools, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a deep passion for education. Smith’s journey in education began as a computer technology teacher at Morrow Middle School. Over the years, he has worn many hats, from coaching football, basketball, and swimming to serving as an assistant principal at Mundy’s Mill Middle School and principal at Pointe South Middle School.
However, it was his role as the first principal to graduate seniors from Mundy’s Mill High School that he takes the greatest pride in. Having previously worked in positions at the feeder schools, Smith had seen many of the students at Mundy’s Mill grow and develop since early middle school. Seeing them graduate from high school was a special experience that underscored the importance of investing in students throughout their educational journey.
“Even though I was not the first principal at Mundy’s Mill High School, I take pride in being the principal that graduated the first seniors from the then new high school”.
Smith’s connection to Clayton County Public Schools runs deep. He himself was raised (as and educator0 in the school system and has had the great fortune of hitting every rung on the ladder regarding the educational structure. Over the years, he has observed firsthand the positive impact that education can have on the lives of students, and he is committed to ensuring that every student in Clayton County has access to high-quality education.
Despite his impressive resume, what sets Smith apart is his unwavering dedication to the community he serves. He remembers a poignant moment from a few years ago when, as a sector superintendent, he visited West Lake Elementary School and a little boy asked him if he was Martin Luther King Jr. Even though funny, that question was a reminder of the profound impact that leaders can have on young minds, and a responsibility that Smith takes seriously.
In his new role as superintendent, Smith hopes to build on the successes of the past and chart a path forward that empowers teachers and students alike. He understands that education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and he is committed to working with teachers, parents, and community members to create a system that meets the unique needs of Clayton County’s diverse student population.
Dr. Anthony Smith finds fulfillment in seeing students thrive and he recognizes the importance of community support in creating a successful organization. Building relationships is a key aspect of his approach to leadership, which is a valuable quality for any school superintendent.
He recalls his greatest challenge, gang infestation. Though a difficult task to deal with, Smith had support from various stakeholders in the community and was able to create programs that provided more opportunities for children to avoid gang involvement.
As interim school superintendent for Clayton County Public Schools, Smith firmly believes in the golden rule: treat people as you want to be treated. This value was instilled in him by his mother, who would tell him that children won’t care about what you know until they know how much you care. This is a lesson that he carries with him to this day.
Smith’s two guiding pillars are transformation and innovation, and he has ambitious plans for Clayton County Public Schools. One of his major initiatives is the construction of an 8,000 seat arena, a nine whole golf course, an indoor track facility, and an adaptive competitive arena for children with disabilities. He is also determined to put the school system on a new trajectory and has identified five areas of focus: creating a safe culture for families, achieving academic success, ensuring financial stability, improving organizational structure, and upgrading facilities.
Dr. Anthony Smith’s values, vision, and initiatives suggest that he is committed to creating positive change in Clayton County Public Schools.