In an exclusive interview Afternoons with Amos talked with the new Superintendent of the Lawrence Township Schools, Dr. Shawn A. Smith. Dr. Smith’s selection was officially announced Thursday, December 12th by the Lawrence Township School Board and he will assume his new duties January 1, 2014. Lawrence Township was the first district to hire an African-American superintendent (Dr. Percy Clark) in Indianapolis back in the mid/late 1980′s. Said Lawrence Township School Board President Carol Helmus, “Dr. Smith really sets the course for the future of Lawrence Township. 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.” Dr. Smith has 25 years experience in the field of education. The Indianapolis-native served most recently as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education in Pike Township. Pike Township Supt. Nate Jones called Dr. Smith “an exemplary public school leader who continues to demonstrate that his primary goal is serving all students and ensuring they are the recipients of a quality education.” Jones added, “Dr. Smith is exceptionally prepared to lead the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township to the next level of excellence.” At Pike, Dr. Smith opened the High School Freshman Center, serving as its first Principal in 2003. He earlier served as an educator in Washington Township – first as a teacher and later as Principal of Eastwood Middle School, which received the State of Indiana’s coveted Four Star School Award under his tenure. An Indianapolis Public Schools graduate, he began his teaching career at IPS. With a background as assistant superintendent, principal and teacher, Dr. Smith describes himself as still “a passionate educator whose first love is teaching social studies. “
“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. If we do what’s right on behalf of the students, everyone in this school corporation will be successful.” Lawrence Township Schools is Indiana’s tenth largest school district. It serves approximately 15,000 students at four Early Learning Centers, 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and a Center for Innovation and Technology. Click the Arrow to Hear Amos’ Exclusive Interview with New Lawrence Township Supt. Dr. Shawn Smith. Runs 8 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.