As Canal Winchester bids farewell to former superintendent Jeff Childers, a familiar face is stepping in to take over the reigns of leadership of the school district.
Dr. Kimberley Miller-Smith, who served as assistant principal at Canal Winchester High School from 2000-02 and left to take a job as assistant superintendent with the Southwest Licking school district, is the new superintendent for Canal Winchester Local Schools.
On July 9, the Canal Winchester Board of Education approved a three year superintendent contract for Miller-Smith at an annual salary of $114,101. Miller-Smith was chosen from a field of 36 candidates.
"We were unanimous with the decision on Kim," said Board President Debra Waites. "She impressed us with her commitment and passion for the district and she laid out a timeline that was consistent with our plans. She really did her homework and I was so impressed with her passion.
"Ms. Miller-Smith brings a unique blend of instructional and administrative experience to the district. Having spent five years as an assistant superintendent in the Southwest Licking Local School District, Ms. Miller-Smith is well prepared to assume the position of superintendent. She has served Southwest Licking extremely well, and based on everything we have learned, she has all of the tools to fulfill what we stated we wanted and needed all along."
Waites hopes the community will open their arms to Miller-Smith. Waites said she expects great things from the new superintendent, but at the same time is glad the search for a new leader is over.
"I was excited about the opportunity," said Miller-Smith following approval of her contract. "I was an assistant superintendent for five years and decided to take the next step. I have a list of goals for Canal Winchester schools and my first one is to get the (operating) levy passed in November. I also want to get a needs assessment from all employees and hone in on academics. We’ll need to look at our work with students with disabilities and address present and future diversity. I want to be proactive instead of reactive. I’m really looking forward to new challenges."
Miller-Smith received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University in 2001. She graduated from Miami University with a bachelor degree in Elementary/Special Education in 1980 and earned her master’s in Educational Technology and Research in 1984 at OSU.
Her first teaching position was with Canal Winchester in the high school special education department, where she was awarded a board grant for development of an on-site work training program. Miller-Smith also founded/served as the first president of the Central Ohio Volleyball Coaches’ Association.
Miller-Smith’s academic career also includes positions as an elementary media coordinator with Belpre City Schools; library/media coordinator with the Berne Union School District, Centennial High School, and Dublin Scioto High School; Ohio University instructor; and assistant to the director of Student Services and Graduate Studies at OSU.
Articles co-written by Miller-Smith have appeared in academic publications and the OSU graduate has presented papers at educational conferences. Her honors and achievements include a Campbell Scholarship; School of Educational Policy & Leadership 2000 Student Service Award; Eikenberry Scholarship; runner-up for 1998 National School Library Media Program of the Year; and tenures as president, conference chair, and director of the Ohio Educational Library Association.