Gazebo Gazette

Dr. Jay Smith, superintendent of the Long Beach School District, has been appointed to the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents’ board of directors.

Since its founding in 1969, MASS has grown into a nationally recognized coalition that provides state-of-the-art training and mentoring programs for educators throughout Mississippi while advocating year-round for improved public schools. The association regularly evaluates the composition of its board to ensure it includes the appropriate skills, experience and perspectives necessary to improve outreach and efficacy.

Selected to serve as one of the board’s District 5 representatives, Smith brings 28 years of experience in education to MASS. As part of his board duties, he will work with fellow directors to provide resources and services to improve the quality of public education in Mississippi.

Smith joins the MASS board at a pivotal time when districts are facing multiple challenges, including the reopening of schools amidst growing coronavirus concerns, teacher shortages and rapidly changing technology needs.

We are excited to welcome Jay to our board of directors,” said Dr. Phil Burchfield, executive director for MASS. “His knowledge and experience will be key assets in helping guide our future operations and strategies, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Mississippi’s public schools are equipped to provide a world-class education for all students.”

Last year, MASS launched the Unleash Possible campaign to address the state’s teacher shortage by encouraging service-minded Mississippians to consider careers in education.

MASS also is aggressively working with state leaders to develop more robust recruiting and hiring practices for Mississippi’s public schools as well as better pay, stronger certification standards and other incentives to build and strengthen Mississippi’s teacher workforce.

In recent months, MASS hosted weekly webinars as part of its ongoing commitment to assist members as school districts begin the reopening process in the wake of closures tied to coronavirus concerns.

It’s beyond inspiring to see firsthand the impact MASS is making on public education in Mississippi and how its leaders are working to create more inclusive, connected and healthy schools for all,” said Smith. “I look forward to working with the board of directors and the entire MASS team to keep the momentum moving forward.”

Smith is entering into his fifth year of leading the “A-rated” LBSD – one of only nine school districts in the state to earn the “A” ranking four years in a row.

Prior to serving in Long Beach, Smith was the principal at Brookhaven High School from 2008-2012 when the school received a “B” rating for two consecutive years. 

The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents and the Alliance of Educational Leaders of Mississippi is a non-profit association whose membership is made up of 139 public school superintendents and more than 2,000 public school administrators. Its mission is to provide resources, advocacy, leadership, policy information, training, support, renewal, and public relations services that improve the quality of public education.

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