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Dr. Jeffery Smith’s journey of leadership in education and contributions to our community are celebrated

More than 400 people gathered at the Hampton Roads Convention Center on Saturday, June 3, 2023, to celebrate Dr. Jeffery Smith’s journey of leadership in education and contributions to the community. He has served as superintendent of Hampton City Schools for the past eight years with 32 years of service in public education. Students Tamia Kelly, a senior at Hampton High School, and Aaron Bunn, a sophomore at Hampton High School, served as emcees for the evening. Both are students in the International Baccalaureate Academy.

Hampton School Board chair Dr. Richard Mason gave opening remarks and shared the video of board member Ann Cherry reading her tribute poem. Dr. Mason announced that the science wing currently under construction at Kecoughtan High School will be named in honor of Dr. Jeffery O. Smith.

Highlights of the evening included reflections from various individuals who have been instrumental in Dr. Smith’s path throughout his life and career. Speakers included Martha Mugler, current member of Hampton City Council and former member of the Hampton School Board; Dr. John Caggiano, deputy superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment for Hampton City Schools; Mary Bunting, Hampton City Manager; Dr. Stewart Roberson, superintendent emeritus, Hanover County Public Schools and professor of practice, University of Virginia; Cheryl Carrier, executive director, Ford Next Generation Learning; and Dr. Lorianne S. Smith, educator and wife of Dr. Jeffery Smith.

In his remarks, Dr. Smith thanked many individuals including his family, event sponsors, HCS division leadership team and employees, the event planning committee, and many other people who have shared in his educational and professional journey.

Dr. Smith shared, “Team, together, we have worked to build from places of strength and embraced the fact that there are no shortcuts to excellence. You believed with me that there must be a vision. Otherwise, the people will vanish away and with only faith and no action it all becomes meaningless.”

In his remarks, Dr. Smith announced a contribution of $160,000 from Sentara Health to the Hampton Education Foundation’s Next Generation Endowment. The endowment will provide new resources for extensive financial support. Gifts to the endowment, including those received from individuals at the event, from Sentara Health, and from the Hampton School Board’s recent support of $160,000 will go toward scholarships for HCS graduates who pursue their undergraduate degrees and agree to return to teach in Hampton City Schools. With the proceeds from the sponsors and individual gifts totaling just over $25,000, the Next Generation Endowment currently stands at more than $345,000.

“This work will continue to engage our community, educators, and the Hampton City Schools to accelerate progress and to institute the most impactful ways to empower our community to invest in high-quality teachers, fuel engaged learning, and support students and their families,” said Dr. Smith.

A special thank you goes to the presenting sponsor, Old Point National Bank and supporting sponsors including Comfort Systems, Peninsula Community Foundation, Warwick Mechanical, Richard Coleman, Linda and Scott Curtis, Delta Graphics, ESS, Garrett Realty Partners, Goodman Glass, Hampton University, Inomedic Health Applications, Inc, Jeff’s Flowers; Mike and Nancy Petters, RRMM; Robert Smith, Tile Shop, Molly and Forrest Ward, and Zel Technologies, LLC.

Dr. Richard W. Wills, Sr., former pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, gave the invocation and entertainment was provided by the Fuzz Band. Academies of Hampton student ambassadors assisted with the registration and welcoming of guests, and students from the Hampton City Schools Steel Drums Ensemble and Jazz Band as well as the Bethel High School drumline provided entertainment as guests arrived.

We wish Dr. Smith well wishes and the best of luck as he enters this new chapter of life!