Batavia High School alum excited to return as superintendent
Batavia City School District’s newly hired superintendent was chosen, in part, for neatly fitting into some of the criteria suggested by community members during the interview process, Board of Education President Alice Benedict says.
Jason Smith, a 1990 Batavia High School graduate and city resident, will be shortening his commute come Jan. 3, 2022. Smith is currently superintendent of Lyndonville Central School, and was officially approved by the board during a special meeting Monday evening.
“One of the things we heard from the community was that they really wanted someone who was a hometown person,” Benedict said to The Batavian after Monday’s special meeting. “And that he’s not using the district as a stepping stone. He’s a very straightforward person, we think he’s going to be a big asset and are excited to have him here.”
Smith has worked his way from high school social studies teacher to principal to superintendent in Albion, Elba, Lyndonville, and now Batavia City Schools. His experience and track record spoke loudly to the board, Benedict said, including when he first applied for a vacant superintendent position in Batavia. Competition was fierce, and Anibal Soler Jr. was chosen during that search. Smith returned a second time to interview after Soler left the district in July 2021.
“We’re happy he came back,” Benedict said. “He’s excited to be back as superintendent at the district where he graduated.”
Smith thanked the board for “entrusting me with this tremendous opportunity.” Batavia is a very special place for him, he said.
“I look forward to working alongside the incredible and inspiring students, staff, and community members, he said in a news release. “I can’t wait to hit the ground running in the new year.”
During the meeting, Benedict thanked Genesee Valley BOCES Superintendent Kevin MacDonald for his guidance and help during the search process. She also gave a grateful nod to the board.
“I want to thank the board for their eagerness and patience,” she said, turning to her colleagues. “I appreciate your honesty, opinions, and steadfast aim to find the right superintendent for this school district.”
Scott Bischoping has been filling in as interim superintendent until a permanent choice was made. The process took time, energy, and coordination to involve not only board members, but district and community members as well, Benedict said.
“I’m just relieved the process is over,” she said.
Smith began his career in 1994 in the Albion Central School District as a high school social studies teacher had various principal positions at Elba Central School from 2004 to 2011, and has been at Lyndonville Central from 2011 to present.
He received his Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration and his Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Brockport. He is also a graduate of The State University of New York at Geneseo, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Sociology.
Smith’s contract includes a yearly salary of $165,000.