Who's Who Top Educators

Dr. Marion Smith Jr.

Title: Assistant State Superintendent, Instructional Programs & Services
Company: Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Dr. Marion Smith Jr. has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for his achievements in education, and his track record of driving innovation, fostering equity and accelerating academic outcomes.

  • Visionary, transformative and impact-driven education leader with a proven track record of driving innovation, fostering equity and accelerating academic outcomes
  • Scholar-practitioner with experiences spanning public school teaching, school leadership, EdTech leadership, elected board membership, regional leadership and school district cabinet-level leadership (including Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent of Schools) in diverse ethnic, linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic school districts with enrollment ranging from 3,400 – 310,000 students
  • Strong fiscal leader with experience managing the implementation of budgets totaling up to $45 million
  • Co-author of the Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Framework; featured speaker and presenter at the national, state and regional levels covering topics ranging from adaptive leadership, critical pedagogy, adult learning, implementation science, systems thinking and racial equity/diversity/inclusion (REDI)
  • Legal acumen and data-informed systems thinker who leads and supports cross-functional teams to manage complex organizational growth and change

Dr. Smith is an experienced and innovative former school district superintendent of schools, school district chief academic officer, school principal and public school teacher. He brings over 20+ years of impact leading and managing complex organizational growth and change across the country in PK-12 education, post-secondary institutions and EdTech.

Currently, Dr. Smith serves as the Assistant State Superintendent of Instructional Programs & Services for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). In this role, he provides leadership, research-based expertise, and strategic oversight for all programs, projects, and initiatives related to instructional programs and services across the state of Maryland impacting 1,400 public schools educating over 880,000+ PK-12 students in the 24 public school districts in the state. Prior to MSDE, Dr. Smith was the Chief Academic Officer / Deputy Superintendent of Academics of St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS). Before that, he made history as the first Black administrator and first Black Superintendent of Schools of Summit School District in Summit County, Colorado. Additionally, Dr. Smith has held leadership roles in Washington State, Pennsylvania and Nevada. He began his career as a secondary English language arts teacher in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV in the fifth largest school district in the nation, Clark County School District.

Guided by an unwavering pursuit of personal, institutional and systemic equity, Dr. Smith is the co-author of the Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Framework© and the co-designer and co-facilitator of the ‘Coaching and Leading for Racial Equity’ series that has since become foundational training and professional learning offered by the largest educational service district (ESD) in Washington State that serves 35 school districts educating over 400,000 PK-12 students.

A life-long learner with a focus on excellence, Dr. Smith 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, Dr. Smith is an inaugural graduate of the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy from the University of Southern California (USC); a Harvard Business School Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) Summer Institute alumni; Men of Color in Educational Leadership (MCEL) National Leadership Institute Inaugural Fellow; and a Spring 2024 graduate from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

For more information, please visit:
Maryland State Department of Education 

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