A new superintendent has been named to the post in the Tuscumbia City School System, and it’s a familiar face who says she will provide a new vision for the school system.
For the past four months, Mary Kate Smith has sat behind the superintendent’s desk on an interim basis.
Monday night, the Tuscumbia Board of Education selected her to continue those duties permanently.
“I’ve kind of had the opportunity to see what the challenges are and also the rewards, so I’m excited about this opportunity,” said Smith.
Smith took the helm after the departure of Superintendent Joe Walters. Since then, she has faced a huge hurdle. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools visited in December and placed the school system on warning status.
“Right now, we do have the issue of the public’s perception of our school system and our management of the school system, so we are working through that,” Smith said.
An AdvancedED Review Team will be at the school system this week to address concerns residents and teachers have expressed with micro-management with in the school system.
However, Smith believes that those concerns are being addressed.
And now the system wants to re-assure citizens that the schools in Tuscumbia are moving forward, while not dwelling on the past.
“We have great families in Tuscumbia,” says Smith.” We would love to see them graduate from Deshler High School, come back and live and work in our community. So, we want to offer them those opportunities.”
Smith has worked in the Tuscumbia School System close to 30 years. She rose through the ranks of teacher, principal and Federal Programs Coordinator, before being named Interim Superintendent.
Mary Kate Smith will take over the superintendent’s position on a permanent basis July 1st.