New Batavia City Schools superintendent gets acquainted on first day
It’s trivia time for students at Batavia High School: who is a huge Buffalo Bills fan, an avid reader, a musician, runner and is a Bruce Springsteen fan?
If you were listening to this morning’s announcements, the answer is a no-brainer. Newly hired Superintendent Jason Smith revealed those recreational activities during an on-air interview from the high school's main office. Smith is also happy to “talk books” of all kinds, listen to classic 1980s rock and roll, play his trombone in some local bands and spend family time watching the fourth season of Cobra Kai.
Aside from his personal passions, Smith is looking forward to returning to BHS as a 1990 graduate.
“I have always been very proud of Batavia. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with students, and to work with the faculty and staff,” he said. “My drive has gone from 40 minutes to four.”
As the former superintendent of Lyndonville Central School, Smith’s daily travel went north to Orleans County. He was there for the last 10 years, after serving as Elba middle and high school principal, and a teacher in Albion. After graduating from Batavia High School, Smith's college major was history, and he attended both Geneseo and Brockport State College.
According to Board of Education President Alice Benedict, Smith met some key characteristics that community members had sought, including being a hometown resident and not making Batavia a short stop on the way to another district. The board, with direction from Genesee Valley BOCES Superintendent Kevin Macdonald, conducted a search in late 2021 after former Superintendent Anibal Soler announced he was leaving.
Smith brings with him a lifestyle philosophy he’d like to share with everyone he encounters.
“Going back to when I taught, I always believed in the concept of high expectations,” he said. “Raise the bar, set high goals. It’s our job as the adults to help achieve those high expectations.”
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.
Monday was Smith’s first official day at the city school district. He and Interim Superintendent Scott Bischoping had previously reviewed district business, Bischoping said. Smith's first board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11 in the high school library. Board meetings will resume on the third Thursday of the month beginning in February.
Top photo: New Superintendent Jason Smith answers questions during Monday morning announcements at Batavia High School. Above, Smith answers questions during announcements with Student Co-Mayor Mackenzie Harmon and high school Principal Paul Kesler Monday at the high school. Photos by Howard Owens.