Smith Selected as Director of Schools

Smith Selected as Director of Schools

The Hardeman County School Board selected Christy Smith to be Director of Schools for Hardeman County by a 7-1 margin at their meeting on November 11.

Smith, a lifelong resident and a graduate of Bolivar Central High School, will move from her position as Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning at the Hardeman County School Board, where she has served since 2013, to the director’s position on January 1, 2022.

Smith said that while the last few years have been difficult due to COVID-19, opportunities are just around the corner.

“These are challenging times in education due to the pandemic, more accountable legislation, and other factors that we cannot control.  However, these are also very exciting times. There are opportunities on the horizon, such as Blue Oval City and the Lone Oaks/UTIA partnership, that can provide our students with unprecedented options. As educational stakeholders, we need to embrace those opportunities and work together collectively to provide a valuable and committed education to all of our students. It is my privilege to serve this county in leading the team to take advantage of the opportunities we have and revitalize learning for students,” she said.

The school board chose from four final candidates for the position after narrowing the choice from ten candidates in October. Smith, Jackson-Madison County Schools Director of Human Resources/Diversity and Equity Diane Hicks-Watkins, Dr. Roderick L. Payne of Bartlett and Assistant Director of Secondary Schools and CTE for Hardeman County Schools Jeff Barnes were the final four.

Board member Jerry Crisp voted for Watkins.

Board member Jennifer Aylor did not record a vote in the process, citing attorney advice to abstain in light of her brother, Jeff Barnes, being one of the final four for the position.