Selma like home to Smith

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 3, 2007

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series about the four finalists for Selma schools superintendent.



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Dr. Tyrone Smith likened Selma to another small town he was very familiar with &045; Tuskegee, where he went to college.

He drew the comparison Wednesday night during his interview with the Selma City Board of Education. He wants to be the next superintendent, and was asked what he would do to reintegrate the school system, which is nearly all black at the middle and high schools.

Smith, 50, is currently the director of The Opportunity Academy at Riggins, where he said their methodology for dealing with students deemed discipline is having positive results.

His education includes a bachelor’s from Tuskegee Institute 1981, a master’s from Alabama A&M University 1992, and a doctorate in education through Nova Southeastern University in 2005.

Smith said he applied for the superintendent’s job because he feels it’s a good opportunity to exhibit some of the things he has learned as it relates to educating children. Smith said he was all about four things: school safety, school system safety, teaching and learning.

Asked what he thought the top priority for the school system was, Smith said instruction at Selma High School.

He also said teachers have to be enthused about the subject matter, and everything needs to be attractive.

Smith drew on his current experience in Birmingham, where he said they have a sent 108 students from the alternative school back to their regular classes. Only one has returned to the alternative school, Smith said.

Asked about what he thought the relationship between the superintendent and the school board was, Smith said board is the school system. If selected, Smith said he would be visible in the community and would seek community support through local businesses.

School board members have said they would like to have a new superintendent in place by January 2008.