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Waterloo Board of Education names Dr. Jared Smith next Superintendent

WATERLOO—The Waterloo Community Schools Board of Education has named Dr. Jared Smith as the district’s next superintendent.  His hire will become official upon board approval at the regular scheduled board meeting on February 14.

Dr. Smith is the current superintendent of the South Tama Community School District, which has become a top district in the state for community engagement via social media. He has focused on creating positive work environments for staff, resulting in increased staff culture and climate scores four years in a row. He has also authored a book, written several articles, and delivered several presentations on various issues related to educational leadership.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Smith to our district community as our next superintendent,” said Sue Flynn, Board President. “Dr. Smith has proven himself to be an ambitious and passionate educational leader who focuses on engaging with families, recruiting exceptional teachers and staff, and promoting communities of care for students. He is also a thought leader in the field education, and someone other school leaders look to for guidance and expertise. We look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on the Waterloo Community Schools moving forward. We truly feel like he will be a champion for our district.”

Under his leadership, South Tama CSD achieved Iowa’s second-best four-year graduation rate for districts with a minority population of 40 percent or greater. The district has also been recognized by several state and national organizations for its innovative education practices and has created eight new staff positions to focus on students’ social-emotional needs in recent years.

Dr. Smith grew up in Waterloo and is a graduate of Waterloo West High School. He previously served as a principal in the Muscatine CSD and assistant principal at East High School in the Waterloo CSD. He holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from National-Louis University.

As part of his application, Jared said, “I am intrinsically motivated to see the students of Waterloo succeed at high levels. Growing up in Waterloo, I am inspired by the idea of giving back to the community that made me who I am today. Like many Waterloo students, I didn’t have things easy growing up, and I find great motivation in leading a school system where the main focus is helping students overcome unique challenges.  I am also motivated to make the Waterloo Community Schools a wonderful place for employees. We have placed a huge emphasis on the culture and climate at South Tama County, and are committed to ensuring our employees enjoy coming to work. The idea that I could bring this same energy and enthusiasm around workplace morale to Waterloo is a very exciting idea, and a challenge that gets me up in the morning.”

The Waterloo Board of Education has been working with Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the search for the next superintendent. The process has included a community-wide survey, asking district residents to provide their input on the qualities and characteristics they would like to see in the district’s next leader. The search consultants also held focus group meetings as they established desired qualifications for the next superintendent.  The board conducted a first round of interviews on January 19. Final interviews took place on January 27.

Dr. Smith will begin serving the Waterloo Community Schools as superintendent effective July 1, 2022.

Cole Bair

Cole Bair is Program Director and hosts 'Cole & Company' from 5-6pm weekdays on 1650 - 102.3 The Fan. Follow him on Twitter @realcolebair.

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