After being left vacant for one year, the position of assistant superintendent/director of operations for the West Point School District was given Monday night to Rob Smith, current director of the West Point High School Career and Technology Center.
Elester Wicks, who retired last year, last held the position, but because of budget cuts, the school district left the position vacant for one year. Superintendent Steve Montgomery suggested that the West Point School Board of Trustees find someone to fill the seat because it is difficult for a superintendent to take on the duties and responsibilities of each role, he said.
The role of the assistant superintendent/director of operations is to supervise the maintenance of child nutrition, transportation, technology student discipline and fixed assets in the school district. When the directors of each of these departments have any questions or concerns about something in their department, they take those concerns to the assistant superintendent/director of operations.
Montgomery said it is critical to have a director of operations in the West Point School District, and having someone to fill the vacancy will give incoming superintendent Burnell McDonald more time to work with principals at each of the six schools in the district and the Career/Tech Center, which is very important for the success of the school district.
Incoming superintendent for the WPSD Burnell McDonald made the recommendation for the school board to hire Smith for the job, and the school board voted unanimously to approve the recommendation.
“I feel very honored and privileged that Mr. McDonald would want to use me to assist him in these specialized areas,” Smith said. “I really look forward to serving the employees and the community in that manner. When it comes down to seeing our district improve, it really comes down to instruction in the classroom, and my job is to take the pressure off of principals to help improve instruction in the classroom and provide services and things they need to be the best instructional leaders.”
Smith has been with the WPSD for 15 years and has worked as the director for the Career/Tech Center for six years. Smith, who has an extensive background working in career/tech programs, said he will still have the flexibility to work with the Career/Tech staff while carrying out his duties as director of operations, which he said he is happy and honored to do.
Smith said the decision to leave his post as director of the Career/Tech Center was tough, especially since the staff there is “wonderful,” and everyone there has worked hard to make the center great and beneficial for the community. He's confident, though, that the Career/Tech Center will continue to be innovative and prepare students who are going through the programs for rewarding, successful, real-world careers.
“It has been a very enjoyable job,” he said. “In all of my 15 years here, I've never regretted going to work one day, and the district is just so fortunate to be full of great leaders.”
Smith will begin as director of operations July 1.