Board hires Daniel Smith as superintendent



In a brief special meeting called to select a new superintendent for Oneonta City Schools from a group of five candidates interviewed, the Oneonta City Board of Education voted unanimously to offer the job to Daniel Smith (above), pending a follow up background check and contract negotiations to come. Smith, currently assistant superintendent for Blount County Schools, accepted the job. Compensation for the position was stated at $120,000-$125,000 when the job was posted for applicants.

“There are details yet to be worked out, but my hope is that he will be on the job sitting at the superintendent’s desk by mid-November,” board chairman Patrick Adams said.

Contacted for comment on the opportunity, Smith said he is “excited, humbled, pleased, and especially honored, to be chosen superintendent of Oneonta City Schools. It’s the climax of my career. As I said in my interview, it’s the only job I wanted, the only superintendent’s job I’ve ever applied for. I wanted this job because it’s an outstanding place to be professionally, and a good fit for me personally. “

Is he intimidated by the difficult prospect of being hired to move a high-performing system recognized as one of the best in the state to even higher levels?

“Not at all. It’s where I want to be. It inspires me. Professionally, you want to be in the best place to get the best results for students humanly possible. I’m committed to that,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity for both Daniel and Oneonta.,” said Blount County Schools Superintendent Rodney Green. “Oneonta’s getting an experienced administrator at all levels – as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. He’s done everything. He’s a statesman and he’s a unifier. His experience and skills will be invaluable in the Oneonta job. He’s a good man and will be a great administrator. We’re proud for him. We hate to lose him, but we congratulate him and wish him and Oneonta City Schools the very best. “

Just before the vote leading to Smith’s selection, the board released a statement to the community, portions of which are quoted here.

“Many months ago, the Oneonta City School Board identified the need to make prominent decisions with longterm implications facing the school system. We noted that the decisions made over the next several months would have the potential to impact our school system for the next 10 years and beyond. As we strive to address the current and future needs of our school system, we continue to seek input from all those who value our system. Tonight we will resolve one of these decisions by seeking new leadership for the Oneonta City School System…

“During the process of interviewing candidates, a conversation about our system’s success would usually come up…The conversation would always end the same way: ‘Yes, we are really good, but how good can we be?’ In other words, with the right leadership, vision, facilities, and resources, we can be better… Furthermore, we are committed to the process of providing the much-needed resources to support our success.

“Just as you extend trust to us in one hand, you hold accountability in the other. We are mindful of this and it will be our motivation as we work with our new school leadership to move the Oneonta City School System to new levels of success and achievement. Thank you for your support and cooperation as we embrace the opportunity to determine how good we can be.”

Other candidates interviewed were Dr. Thomas Davis, curriculum supervisor/ career tech director, Decatur City Schools; Brad Cooper, high school principal, Arab City Schools; Dr. Daniel Steele, sixth-grade principal, Alabaster City Schools; and Dr. Anthony Montalvo, director of student services, Jefferson County Schools.