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Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith named 2022 MLK Community Leader


Hampton City Schools superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith has been named a 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leader by the Urban League of Hampton Roads. He, along with the other recipients, will be honored in a virtual event on January 17, 2022. Grammy award-winning musician, producer, and philanthropist Pharrell Williams will serve as the keynote speaker.


Since 1984, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Awards are presented to individuals or groups who exemplify service, demonstrate the values modeled by Dr. King, and make significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community.

The MLK 2022 award recipients are:

  • Civic – Bennett Zier, President & CEO, Audacy
  • Education – Jeffery Smith, Superintendent, Hampton Public School District
  • Employment – Jennifer Boykin, Executive Vice President, Huntington Ingalls Industries & President Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Financial – Charles R. Henderson, Jr., Senior Vice President & CEO, Bank of America
  • Health – Cynthia C. Romero, Executive Director, Brock Institute, Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Housing – Susan F. Dewey, Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Housing
  • Innovation – Robert M. Blue, Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dominion Energy
  • Philanthropy – Jane P. Batten, President, The Batten Foundation


“I am deeply humbled and honored to join other community leaders to be the recipient of the 2022 Martin Luther King Award given by the Urban League of Hampton Roads in the education category,” said Smith. “I truly believe that preparing the next generation to be critical thinkers for future educational as well as workforce opportunities is not an option. Rather, we must choose to do so. An example of our student success is witnessed by members of the Class of 2021 who achieved a 96.9% on-time graduation rate and a 0.34% dropout rate. Our on-time graduation rate is the second highest rate of the 15 school divisions in our region and our dropout rate is the lowest in the region.”

The virtual event is set for January 17, 2022, at 8 a.m.

There is no cost to attend the event. Registration is online at https://ulhr.org/.