Dr. Marion Smith Jr.

Title: Deputy Superintendent of Academics
Company: St. Louis Public Schools
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Dr. Marion Smith Jr., deputy superintendent of academics / chief academic officer of St. Louis Public Schools, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for his achievements, learning and teaching impact, and leadership in educational administration.

  • Results-driven, PK-12 and post-secondary urban education transformative scholar-practitioner with experience spanning teaching, school leadership, EdTech leadership, elected board membership, and school district cabinet-level roles (including Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer) in diverse ethnic, linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic school districts with enrollment ranging from 3,400 – 310,000
  • Strong fiscal leader with experience leading the implementation of a $42 million district budget (Summit School District) and $41 million division budget (St. Louis Public Schools)
  • Featured speaker and presenter at the national, state and regional levels covering topics ranging from adaptive leadership, critical pedagogy, adult learning, implementation science, and racial equity/diversity/inclusion (REDI)
  • Data-informed yet people centric systems thinker leading and supporting cross-functional teams to manage complex organizational growth and change
  • Tested and proven track record of deepening adult professional learning to close opportunity and achievement gaps while strengthening student educational outcomes

Dr. Smith brings over 20 years of experience and impact leading and managing complex organizational growth and change in PK-12 education, post-secondary institutions and EdTech. He has honed his career in diverse ethnic, racial, linguistic, socioeconomic and cultural settings in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada; North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; Summit County, Colorado and most recently the City of St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Smith began his tenure as deputy superintendent of academics / chief academic officer of St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) in July 2021. In this role, he provides leadership, vision and strategic direction for the district’s largest team, the Academic Office Division, which includes the departments of Academics in Movement, Curriculum & Instruction, College & Career Readiness, Career & Technical Education, Early Childhood Education, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) / Migrant Education, Gifted & Talented Education, Professional Development, School Leadership, Special Education, StL Plan Peer Assistance & Review, and Virtual Learning impacting over 20,000 PK-12 scholars (students) across 60+ schools.

Prior to joining SLPS, Dr. Smith served as the superintendent of schools of Summit School District in Summit County, Colorado, where he led the district during the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, oversaw the learning of 3,400 scholars and supported over 650 employees with an annual general operating budget of $42 million. He was the first Black administrator and first Black superintendent in the 150-year history of the school district. During the 20-21 school year, Dr. Smith collaborated with the school district community to implement foundational equity professional learning districtwide that was used to frame the work of the District Equity Advisory Team (EAT) resulting in the development of a new district Equity Policy (‘Just and Equitable Education’) approved and adopted by the Board of Education. Additionally, partnering with the Colorado Education Initiative, he oversaw the launch of a community-wide process and strategic plan steering committee resulting in the development of a Graduate Profile and new, future focused multi-year District Strategic Plan.

As a leader of adult professional learning, Dr. Smith is the founder of Educate to Liberate Consulting (E2LC), the co-author of the Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Framework, and co-designer and co-facilitator of the three day ‘Coaching and Leading for Racial Equity Institute’ that has since become foundational training and professional development offered by the largest educational service district (ESD) in Washington State that serves 35 school districts, 9 charter schools, 2 tribal compact schools, 270 private schools educating over 400,000 PK-12 students.

Dr. Smith was drawn to the profession due to his belief in the transformative power of education. Many people throughout history have encountered systemic and institutional barriers to a quality and effective education due to their race, socioeconomic status and language acquisition. Dr. Smith remains unwavering and unapologetic about his life’s work to dismantle and reimagine inequitable systems, policies and practices so that each person can thrive.

Dr. Marion Smith Jr is a former public school K-12 student, performing arts high school graduate, and first-generation college student. His scholarship includes a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and a master’s degree in Education Administration & Supervision with K-12 Principal Certification from the University of Phoenix- Las Vegas campus. He earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership & Change from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, and pursued post-doctoral studies in Executive Leadership at Seattle University (Seattle U) earning Washington State Superintendent Certification. Additionally, as a life-long learner, Dr. Smith is an inaugural graduate of The School Superintendents Association (AASA) Urban Superintendents Academy at the University of Southern California (USC), a Harvard Business School Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) Summer Institute alum, and in 2022 began studies as a law student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University with a concentration in Human Resources and Employment Law.

For more information, please visit:
St. Louis Public Schools
Educate to Liberate Website

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