Dr. Smith starts new job
New Arlington ISD superintendent Dr. Matt Smith didn’t waste any time getting started on his first day on the job Tuesday.
Smith was up at 5:15, at the administration building around 7, and then off to visit campuses on his first day.
By the time Smith returned to the administration building in the afternoon, he had visited five locations, walked more than three miles, talked with students and staff, been supplied with gear from all six traditional high schools and had a box of lemon bars to take home to snack on later.
It was a successful first day indeed.
“It was an awesome experience,” Smith said. “One of my goals is to meet as many people and observe as much as I can early on. This was a great experience for me, and I felt so welcomed by everyone. Although it was my first day, they made me feel like I was already home.”
Everywhere Smith went he felt welcomed. It helped that there were signs in schools, his name on the marquee and probably the biggest picture he’d ever seen of himself on a screen at the Dr. Marcelo Cavazos Center for Visual and Performing Arts [CVPA]. Smith sent that picture to his older sister, who he said was sure to make fun of him for it.
Smith’s first stop took him to Jones Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language. There he got to greet students as they came to school, hear the school song and get a tour of the school led by who else but Jones students. And he left with a huge welcome banner that was made for him and signed by everyone at the school.
Next up for Smith was a visit to the CVPA and the Arlington ISD Athletics Center. Smith, who came to the Arlington ISD after serving as the superintendent at Belton ISD, was blown away by what he saw at each state-of-the-art venue.
He also got a crash course in learning names, as in addition to meeting the staffs at both locations, he met the athletic coordinators from six of the district’s high schools.
Smith got to see the 2019 Bond in action at Duff Elementary where he got an update on the construction of the new gymnasium and expanded library and saw how the school’s librarian and physical education teacher are adjusting without the normal working environments.
If Smith was running out of energy, he got a pick-me-up at Boles Junior High as he was greeted by a drumline performance from staff members. His tour, led by student council members, also included a choir performance.
The morning activities helped Smith work up an appetite. The good news was that his final stop was the Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center. Smith, along with school namesake Dan Dipert and Arlington ISD board members Melody Fowler, Leanne Haynes and Dr. Aaron Reich got a tour of the CTC led by principal Ginger Polster.
Once the tour concluded, it was time for lunch. And CTC culinary students made sure Smith was full after a lunch of tortilla soup, tacos and, of course, a lemon bar.
It was a successful day indeed.
“It was great to see how student-driven everything was along the way,” Smith said. “From the outstanding students who led my tour at Jones to the facilities being built for students at Duff to preparing our students to enter the workforce at the Career and Technical Center, everyone had student success at the forefront. I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
See more photos from Dr. Smith’s first-day tour.