New Long Beach superintendent eager to carry on district's legacy

New Long Beach superintendent eager to carry on district's legacy

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Jay Smith took over as the new superintendent of Long Beach schools on Friday, but barely had time to move into his new office.

"This first day's been kind of hectic," said Smith.

Smith, who was recently appointed to take over the helm of schools in Long Beach, remembers the night the school board president called him about the position.

"She said, 'We'll give you a day to think about it,' and I said, 'I don't need a day. I'll accept it,'" said Smith.

Smith came from the North Pike School District, where he served as the assistant superintendent for four years. He taught school in Jackson for five years before moving into administration, both as an assistant principal and principal.

Smith says he is familiar with Long Beach's academic achievements.

"The reputation of Long Beach, of course, is statewide. Anytime someone is wanting and aspiring to be a superintendent sees a job opening like Long Beach, it certainly triggers the interest," said Smith.

Smith plans to use his administrative experience to deal with tight budgets, while keeping quality in the classrooms.

"I believe they have some good things in place here dealing with their curriculum, the instruction, the direction they were headed over the last year. So I'll be taking a look at that and trying to put my twist and my vision on that," Smith added.

Smith is currently focused on getting to know his staff, and says he looks forward to building on the district's academic foundation.

"I'm eager to get started. I've been doing this for over 20 years, so I feel I do have some academic, instructional background to offer," noted Smith. "I'll put forth my ideas and my leadership, and I'm confident that Long Beach will remain among the top," said Smith.

Smith signed a three-year contract with the school district. The new superintendent will oversee five campuses and more than 3,000 students.

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