New Year, New Leadership for Lawrence Township Schools
The Lawrence Township School Board announced the selection of Shawn A. Smith, PhD, December 12 as the new Superintendent of Schools for Lawrence Township. Dr. Smith, a graduate of Broad Ripple High School, has 25 years of experience in the field of education, starting with Indianapolis Public Schools, Washington Township and most recently as the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education for Pike Township.
It becomes immediately apparent during our meeting just how passionate Dr. Smith is about education and making a difference in the Lawrence Township Schools.
“My philosophy is very simple: students first. I have always been a student person,” said Dr. Smith. “I have a strong track record of success and working well with people, so I want to make myself available for what our Lawrence faculty, staff and parents need and what our students need to take our district to the next level.”
When asked how he was planning to accomplish this, Dr. Smith shared that he would spend the first six months visiting with every school to become familiar with the staff, the people and its programs so that he can grasp the needs, the culture and know how to meet the needs of the School Board.
“Dr. Smith really sets the course for the future of Lawrence Township,” said School Board President Carol Helmus. “He is a visionary leader with tremendous experience and success at all levels of administration in metropolitan districts. His passion, enthusiasm and love for education are immediately apparent, as is his unfailing dedication to the philosophy that students come first. We are very much looking forward to his service here in Lawrence Township.”
She said the fact that Smith agreed to a portion of his compensation being performance-based shows his commitment to improvement. She goes on to say, “The stakes are high for everyone including the superintendents. It is a testament to Dr. Smith’s achievement that he is willing to be held accountable like all the employees are.”
The sentiment is echoed by former employees and employers. “He will be a great asset to MSDLT. He’s a people person, hardworking, professional and passionate about kids and education,” said Vicki Scott, his former assistant. After 17 years in Pike Township, Dr. Smith mentions that “the move is bittersweet because of the relationships I have with the families and staff.”
Dr. Smith said he has lived in the two previous communities he has served and intends to live in Lawrence Township. This means that we not only will gain a new Superintendent but a new neighbor as well.
“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, get to work and ensure the success of Lawrence Township Schools,” he said. “If we do what’s right on behalf of the students, everyone in this school corporation will be successful.”
With a successful track record, a passion for education and praise from the Lawrence School Board, former employers and employees, Lawrence Township welcomes you.