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Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith receives 2021-2022 Distinguished Virginian Award


Dr. Jeffery Smith, superintendent of Hampton City Schools, has been selected to receive the 2021-2022 Distinguished Virginian Award from the Virginia District Exchange Club. The Virginia District Exchange Club is comprised of all of the Exchange Clubs in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the ones in Hampton, Blackstone, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Poquoson, Henrico, Richmond, and Suffolk. Dr. Smith was nominated by The Exchange Club of Wythe.


The award honors a person who has distinguished himself/herself by serving his/her community in an exceptional manner. It is presented to a person who, in service to the community, has brought favorable attention to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The award may be presented for volunteer service or a combination of volunteer service and achievements in the course of the nominee’s employment. Dr. Smith was selected based on his longstanding commitment and innovation in education and civic engagement.


“I am honored and humbled to receive the Distinguished Virginian Award,” shares Dr. Smith. “I firmly believe in the school division’s mission of ensuring academic excellence for every child, every day, whatever it takes. As we work to prepare our young people to be college, career and life ready, together as a community, we must ensure our students not only meet the demands of an ever-changing world but are also productive citizens. Please know that I remain committed to an environment of strong community partnership and sustained student achievement for all students.”


Under Dr. Smith’s leadership as superintendent with the Hampton City Schools, academic success is the highest it has been in decades. For the first time in Hampton City Schools history, all of the division’s 32 schools and centers became fully accredited without conditions in 2019. Additionally, the school division has strengthened its dual enrollment program with Thomas Nelson Community College with students earning 19,816 dual enrollment credits since 2015. The on-time graduation rate has increased from 88% for the class of 2015 to 96.86% for the class of 2021. The dropout rate has decreased from 5.1% for the class of 2015 to 0.34% for the class of 2021. In addition, the Hampton City community has earned the distinction of being the first Ford Next Generation Learning Community in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


His civic engagement is one of continued leadership. He strongly believes the school division has a greater impact when there are strong community partnerships. To this end, he is a member of the following boards: Sentara Healthcare, Smart Beginnings of the Virginia Peninsula, Virginia Air & Space Science Center, VersAbility Resources, C&F Bank, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas, and a member of the GO Virginia Region V Council. He served as the president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) from May 2018 to May 2019 and was the superintendent-in-charge for New Horizons Regional Education Centers from July 2017 to June 2019. Smith is a 2017-2018 graduate of the Civic Leadership Institute.