County School Board approves new DCHS principal hire

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dallas County High School has a new principal.

At a special called meeting Thursday night, the Dallas County School Board approved the hiring of Stephanie Smith.

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Dallas County School Superintendent Hattie Shelton said Smith comes highly recommended.

Smith has worked in the Wilcox, Montgomery and Perry County school systems serving in educator and administrative roles.

She also has worked in the Selma City School system for 10 years.

Smith said she has collectively worked in education for nearly 24 years.

Before the board approved Smith’s hire, the board members asked questions about discipline and involvement in the school system and the community.

“I believe in following the policy manual,” said Smith talking about discipline in the schools. “I also believe in being fair, firm and consistent.

“I do believe in hearing all sides of a story,” she said. “Not necessarily when a teacher says something is it automatically true. I have found cases where that has happened. I do take everything into consideration.

“I do not hold a child to something just because they did something one day,” she said. “I do not remind them unless they are a repeat offender. I try to work with the parents. Every parent I have ever had has my cell numbers. They called me all the time.”

Smith said she believes doing an effective job goes beyond the regular school hours.

“Parents have called me at 11 p.m. or 1 a.m.,” she said. “I do not believe in students sitting outside my office waiting for me because when they do that they are losing instruction time in the classroom.  I believe in handling discipline openly but they need to be in the classrooms.”

Smith said she is involved in all aspects of the school including athletics by attending all games in whatever school system she is part of.

Smith will start the upcoming school year as principal and plans to hit the ground running with one of her first things is to look at the safety of the school.