Gasconade County R-1 directors have reached deep into southern Missouri — almost to the border with Arkansas — to find their next superintendent.
Scott A. Smith, assistant superintendent of the West Plains R-7 School District, will be the next top administrator of R-1. He will succeed Tracey Hankins, who at the end of this school year will retire capping 30 years in public education. Her career began as a kindergarten teacher and concludes after three years as superintendent of R-1.
Smith will take over with the July 1 start of the district’s new fiscal year.
Smith was offered a contract after being one of five finalists interviewed during a closed session Saturday by the R-1 board.
The directors had scheduled a second round of closed talks on Sunday, but that session was not needed.
The announcement of Smith’s hiring was made Monday afternoon by Hankins.
Smith has been the assistant superintendent of West Plains R-7 School District in Howell County (which sets on the Missouri-Arkansas border) for the past five years. Before that, he served as principal of West Plains Middle School for five years and before that he was principal of the district’s South Fork Elementary School for three years.
He began his educational career in 1998 as an elementary classroom teacher and a coach in Neelyville in Butler County and later in Doniphan in Ripley County.
Smith earned his doctorate degree in educational leadership from Saint Louis University in 2013, his educational specialist degree from Southeast Missouri State University and his undergraduate degree from Arkansas State Univesity.
He and his wife Amanda and three daughters will be relocating to the Hermann area and he will begin making the change to his new job by attending board meetings and district events as his schedule allows, Hankins said.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve as superintendent of Gasconade County R-1,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “As I have met the board, administrators, community members and toured the school facilities, I have been thorough impressed. Having grown up in a small town in southern Missouri, I appreciate the sense of community and pride for the school system. I believe Gasconade County will be a great fit for myself and my family.”