AP NEWS

Virginia school leader named finalist for national award

December 18, 2019 GMT

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia school administrator has been named one of four finalists for the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year award.

Jeffery Smith, the superintendent of Hampton City Schools, was named a finalist by The School Superintendents Association. The award pays tribute to school system leaders throughout the country who are making a positive difference in the lives of the students they serve.

The other finalists are superintendents from: Eugene, Oregon; Covington, Georgia; and Mineola, New York.

Smith began his tenure as superintendent in 2015.

The school system said academic success is the highest it’s been in decades under Smith’s leadership, according to a news release. For the first time, all of the division’s 29 schools are accredited without conditions. The on-time graduation rate has increased from 88% for the class of 2015 to 92.73% for the class of 2019. During the same period, the dropout rate fell from 5.1% to 1.26%.

The national superintendent of the year will be announced during the association’s National Conference on Education in February.