Douglas High School has a new principal. Patrick Smith has accepted the position and will start on May 28.
Smith has been a part of Marshall County schools for many years. He started at the Marshall Technical School teaching social studies and moved to Asbury High School where he continued to teach social studies.
He transferred to Grassy Elementary School in 2007 to be their school counselor. He then moved to Asbury High School as their counselor in 2008 until 2011. In 2011, Smith transferred to Marshall Technical School as their career technical education counselor and administrator designee.
He is excited about the opportunity. He said the reason he chose to pursue the position is because he felt that it was the right decision. He has been a part of the community for a long time and has attended Douglas First Baptist for over 25 years. He worked for the Douglas Police Department when he was attending graduate school.
His wife is a Douglas graduate and a third-grade teacher at Douglas Elementary School. He said that his father-in-law, Gary Harper, was a legendary teacher at Douglas High School where his math team won five state championships.
He said that he has been working with the students of Douglas for 14 years through Marshall Technical School and with his 21 years of experience as a teacher and counselor, he feels that he is qualified for the job.
"I have spent the last seven years serving on the system’s student disciplinary hearing committee which deals with the most serious discipline issues," he said. "I have also served as the administrative designee for the past several years at my current school since we do not have an assistant principal."
He said that some of his experiences outside of the classroom will be helpful in the new position as high school principal.
He worked with law enforcement including as a deputy at the Marshall County Sheriff's Office, plus he has experience with media and public relations due to his experience as a writer for a newspaper.
"A knowledge of both the law and communications are good tools for a school principal,” he said.
He said he will miss the staff at Marshall Technical School because they are an amazing group of people. They invest so much of themselves into the students.
He praised how hard everyone has worked over the years to improve the school and continued to work to make it even better. He said that it is "one of the very best career tech centers in the state." He has been proud to be a part of it.
One of his biggest challenges for him is getting everything in place for the new school year. He said that the summers are short and there is a lot of work that will need to be done to be sure that they are ready for the new students next school year.
"As a new principal, I am going to have to hit the ground running, but I am very excited about the opportunity.”