Dr. Jason Smith
Superintendent, Pleasant Grove ISD
LT Class of 2018
Jason Smith serves as Pleasant Grove ISD superintendent and has served over 20 years in public education and has been named the lone finalist to become the next president of Texarkana College. Jason has a doctorate of education administration from Texas A&M University – Commerce and extensive experience as an educator, with three years as a classroom teacher, three years as a middle school principal, four years as a high school principal and thirteen years as a Texas Superintendent. In 2007, Jason and his brother founded a company called TeacherTube.com; for two years, Jason left public education to serve as full-time CEO of the company. The company grew to over two million members before being acquired by a Salem Media Group.
Jason believes, “purposeful teaching leads to mastery in learning.”
Building capacity in all stakeholders, to understand how critical it is for students to master 100% of their learning standards 100% of the time to compete in a global market.
Goal 1 – Building capacity in my students. Set high expectations for every student. Hold each student and accountable balanced with an incredible amount of positive support. Kids will do anything for you if they know you care about them.
Goal 2 – Building capacity in my staff. Establish a mental filter of making decisions in the best interest of our students first and second making decisions that honor our staff and community.
Goal 3 – Building capacity in my community. Secure trust with our community by providing organizational transparency. Allow community members to be partners in the education process of all of our students.
What have you learned most about making a difference in Texarkana (or about your opportunity for community leadership) from being a part of Leadership Texarkana?
Texarkana Leadership opened my eyes to the number of people and projects already making a positive difference in our community. I have been able to get to know many community and city leaders who care deeply about Texarkana and are passionate about growing our economic development.
What does leadership mean to you?
I view leadership in its most simplistic form, “getting people to do something they otherwise would not do”. However, I feel that most people want to be lead by people of virtue and want to be inspired with high expectations.
For what community organization or issue or opportunity do you have a passion and invest your time, talent or money?
Being an educator, I am heavily vested in our community’s education institutions. Also, our family attends First Baptist Church, Texarkana. Recently, I have joined the Caddo Area Council Associate Board for the Boys Scouts of America.
If you had one wish and could make a difference of significance in Texarkana (your small corner) what would you do with that one wish and why?
I would wish that every community member had the skills and aptitude to be employable or employ others.
What do you most love to do in Texarkana?
During the school year, I really enjoy watching our students perform in extracurricular activities. When time permits, my wife and will try to catch a performance at the Perot Theatre. During the summer, my kids really love Bringle Lake Park. Bringle Lake Park seems to always have some other kids there for my boys to play with in a small safe environment. Also, we enjoy fishing for Bream from the docks.
What do you most love about Texarkana, in general?
I love the people of Texarkana most of all. My family was most attracted to Texarkana because of the community values and just a great place to raise our boys. But I have been surprised of the number of thought leaders in our community. I am very excited to live in a community where I see so much potential along with a high number of thought leaders. There is a convergence going on in Texarkana that I don’t believe most in our community is seeing. But it’s happening and it is exciting!