Principal Andre Smith returns home as school’s leader

Principal Andre Smith returns home as schools leader

Principal Andre Smith sits basked in sunlight behind his desk typing away and designing new layouts for emails. His radio softly buzzes on the edge of his desk as he slowly stretches back in his chair taking a deep breath as he prepares for his afternoon scheduled meetings.

Mr. Andre Smith visited with parents and students at the annual college night Sept. 20. (Marcela contreras photo)

“I’m just observing right now, and Duncanville is seriously a wonderful place,” Smith said. “The people here genuinely care, and it is my job to make that shine in everything we do.”

Smith attended the University of Arkansas- Pine Bluff majoring in Communications. He then continued his education in graduate studies at East Texas State University and earning a Master of Education in Administration from Texas Women’s University. In 2005 Smith earned his Superintendent certification from the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently working on his EdD degree through Texas Christian University. Smith said he is happy to return to the Duncanville school district where he began his career at Hardin Elementary in 1996 as a special education aide. He also worked at Duncanville High School as a Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Associate Principal. He finished his time in the district at Reed Middle School, serving as Principal in 2004 before becoming Principal of North Crowley High School. Smith now looks forward to his time serving as the Principal of Duncanville High School.

“Duncanville values its’ students, and that is what drew me back to the district,” Smith said. “Duncanville is known for being very innovative and student centered.”

Smith said he is excited about the application of project based learning in the education process. He sees many benefits in this teaching technique, and hopes by using PBLs more students will become involved with their learning experience at Duncanville High School

“I am excited about the possibility of project based learning and implementing it a the high school. Kids see real life application with PBLs,” Smith said. “Students can actually put what they are learning into action and it is more relevant and meaningful to them. It helps students take more responsibility for their learning and engaging them in the process, making them our partners in education.”

Smith said the first couple weeks of school were a challenge due to the sheer number of students, and dealing with schedule problems and registration. He wants to work with teachers and open doors for students to find success.

“I want to pull those creative ideas out of the teachers to allow our students to flourish,” Smith said. “I want to see more of our students participating in our career and technology programs, dual credit classes and AP classes, and earning higher scores on AP tests. I really want to work on beefing up our career and technology programs, so all of our students can see different avenues of success.

Smith was one of four candidates interviewed for the position, and Superintendent Dr. Alfred Ray believes the selection committee picked a strong candidate to lead Duncanville High School.

“Mr. Smith’s current leadership philosophy as the principal of a large 5A high school, coupled with his previous experience in Duncanville ISD, make him an ideal match as the principal of DHS,” Ray said. “I believe he has all the right talents to lead Duncanville High School through the challenges of 21st century learning.”

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