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Dr. Jeffery Smith receives the Dana B. Hamel award from Virginia Peninsula Community College

Dr. Towuanna Porter-Brannon, president of Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) presented the Dana B. Hamel award to Hampton City Schools superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith at VPCC’s May 12, 2023, commencement ceremony.

The Dana B. Hamel Award is named in honor of the first chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. The award acknowledges individuals or entities for their outstanding public service, fostering access to higher education, and promoting an understanding of workforce development’s role as an essential part of the College’s mission. The Academies of Hampton received the award in 2021.

Dr. Donna Woods, retired Hampton City Schools executive director, introduced Dr. Smith.

In her introduction Woods said, “Dr. Smith has the ability to look ahead while not losing site of the person in front of him. He is a true servant leader who believes every child can learn. By holding higher expectations for ourselves and our students (he said) we can achieve greatness together as a community through expectations of teaching, learning, and leadership.”

Dr. Smith shared, “It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the community and to partner with VPCC.” In addition, he added, “All children are deserving of the opportunity to achieve. We must accept the responsibility of providing the appropriate resources to ensure our young people are college-, career-, and life-ready.”

Dr. Smith began his tenure as superintendent of Hampton City Schools (HCS) on July 15, 2015 and will be retiring on June 30, 2023.


Under his 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 The Virginia Peninsula Community College (previously Thomas Nelson Community College) with students earning 25,443 dual enrollment credits since 2015. The on-time graduation rate has increased from 88% for the class of 2015 to 97.64% for the class of 2022. The dropout rate has decreased from 5.1% for the class of 2015 to 0.62% for the class of 2022. In addition, the Hampton City community has earned the distinction of being the first Ford Next Generation Learning Community in the Commonwealth of Virginia.