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Smith made positive impact on schools

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GUEST EDITORIAL

Phillip W. Berrier of Cana is a former member of the Carroll County School Board

Carroll County Schools were blessed to have Dr. Greg Smith serve as their superintendent for the last five years through tumultuous times caused by the economic downturn.
His accomplishments were many and the indelible impact he leaves on our schools will not soon be forgotten.
Dr. Smith came on board to improve the educational structure. He evaluated and took action to improve schools.
Principals and teachers were moved if our educational system could be improved by doing so. He did not let local political or family connections play into his decision to improve the instructional climate.
Instruction was impacted with positive and constructive improvements in methodologies that resulted in improvements in test scores countywide.
He was determined to finalize Phase III construction for modernized facilities at CCHS and CCIS — a vast improvement over the antiquated facilities.
It is unbelievable what has been achieved with a mere $15 million. This resulted from a committee of educators, businessmen and citizens across Carroll County to: close Woodlawn School, place grades 6-8 in a middle school and move ninth grade to CCHS.
When completed, all schools in Carroll will have been renovated and modernized to offer the best facilities for a curriculum to meet challenges of the 21st Century.
Dr. Smith led Carroll in innovation and changes to make it second to none in our state. The K12 Virtual School was the first to take students from across Virginia that proved to be a good source of revenue for Carroll County Schools.
The STEM governor’s school was awarded to Carroll to place more emphasis on sciences, math, and technology. Dual credit programs were increased so that more students could attain one or two years college before they graduated from high school.
Teachers and administrators were often asked to make presentations in Williamsburg, Richmond, or Charlottesville concerning the good things that were happening in Carroll.
Due to Dr. Smith’s leadership, Carroll County schools stood out as a model for others to admire and often to try to emulate.
Probably the greatest accomplishment of Dr. Smith’s reign was his guidance through the economic debacle that has existed since 2008. He put in place an austerity program to cope with the budgetary shortfalls that were envisioned.
Many personnel positions were never filled in order to meet challenges that were anticipated. Pay increases were eliminated across the board so that the instructional program could remain intact, and without ruining our good pupil/teacher ratio.
Not everyone understood, but our great school system remained intact because of Dr. Smith’s firm leadership.
Dr. Smith’s legacy in Carroll County is both positive and profound. I thank you for your leadership and I believe that our students have prospered because you were here. Our loss is Richmond County’s gain!