SUPERINTENDENT DR. JEFFERY SMITH
Dr. Smith began his tenure as superintendent of Hampton City Schools (HCS) on July 15, 2015. Prior to his employment with Hampton City Schools, he served as the superintendent of the Town of West Point Public Schools for seven years.
Under his leadership as superintendent with the Hampton City Schools, academic success is the highest it has been in decades. For the first time in Hampton City Schools history, all of the division’s 32 schools and centers became fully accredited without conditions in 2019. Additionally, the school division has strengthened its dual enrollment program with Thomas Nelson Community College with students earning 19,816 dual enrollment credits since 2015. The on-time graduation rate has increased from 88% for the class of 2015 to 96.86% for the class of 2021. The dropout rate has decreased from 5.1% for the class of 2015 to 0.34% for the class of 2021. In addition, the Hampton City community has earned the distinction of being the first Ford Next Generation Learning Community in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Dr. Smith firmly believes in the school division’s mission of ensuring academic excellence for every child, every day, whatever it takes. As such, he co-chairs the Academies of Hampton’s operating and steering committees that has transformed the four high schools from five pocket academies to 16 wall-to-wall academies and from 18 to 43 offered career pathways. The Academies provide young people opportunities based on high-demand, high-wage jobs aligned with regional and state workforce data. He believes this transformation will ultimately prepare young people to be college, career and life ready. This important work was featured in the 2018 State of the Region report for Hampton Roads as The Next Generation of Learning in Hampton Roads, as well as The Center for American Progress as one of the four models working across the country, and the class of 2021 graduated as the inaugural AoH graduating class.
His civic engagement is one of continued leadership. He strongly believes the school division has a greater impact when there are strong community partnerships. To this end, he is a member of the following boards: Sentara Healthcare, Smart Beginnings of the Virginia Peninsula, Virginia Air & Space Science Center, VersAbility Resources, C&F Bank, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, YMCA of Virginia Peninsulas, and a member of the Region V GO Virginia Council. He served as the president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) from May 2018 to May 2019 and was the superintendent-in-charge for New Horizons Regional Education Centers from July 2017 to June 2019. Smith is a 2017-2018 graduate of the Civic Leadership Institute.
Dr. Smith served 12 years on the Board of Trustees for the Williamsburg Health Foundation with an endowment that exceeded $115 million. He served both as vice chairman and chairman of the Board of Trustees respectively. He has also served as president of the Rotary Club of West Point, and Chairman of the School-University Research Network (SURN) for the College of William and Mary.
Dr. Smith is a recipient of the 2019 Peninsula Humanitarian Award from the Peninsula Chapter of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (February 2019). Also, he was named the Region II Superintendent of the Year and the 2020 Virginia Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Smith was named as one of four national finalists for the 2020 AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award. Additionally, he is the recipient of the 2020 Mary Peake Award for Excellence in Education Equity (School Leadership) and was recognized as the 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leader by the Urban League of Hampton Roads.
Dr. Smith is married to the former Lorianne Samuel of Caroline County, a public school educator. They have two children, a daughter who is a graduate of Christopher Newport University and Eastern Virginia Medical School with a Master’s Degree in Public Health Policy and Management, and a son who is a graduate of Bridgewater College.