Coming from a sports background, Duncanville Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith understands the concept of winning with consistency. Over his two decades in education, he’s done that consistently, and he’s been doing it as Duncanville since his arrival in 2016.
“Education has been what I wanted to do from Day 1. My coaches and teachers, that was my first connection to education,” Smith said, adding that connection got him thinking,
“This is what I might want to do.
“It never really felt like a job when I was coaching. Along the way I gravitated toward leadership.”
And he did so very well. He loves rolling up his sleeves and doing whatever it takes to create better educational opportunities – and better lives – for his students.
“You have to work with all the people and dynamics. That’s what I thrive in,” he said. “I was motivated by trying to figure out how to do this at the highest level.”
Smith has received a lot of honors in his academic career, including Superintendent of the Year. But recently he experienced a first. The school district named the teaching and learning facility after him.
“I’m pretty speechless. I never saw anything like this coming,” he said. “But it is absolutely an honor. It gives me a level of appreciation that people respect the quality of work that we’ve been able to do over the years.”
Smith said that particular building being the one with which he is honored makes it even more special.
“That building is one that I kinda wanted to champion because we needed a space for teachers to collaborate, to conduct program development so teachers could improve their skills, improve their knowledge to meet the demands of the students,” he said.
Another accolade for Smith that came about recently, the City of Duncanville recognized Sept. 21 as Dr. Marc Smith Day.
Smith grew up in Houston in the Klein School District, where he was later a PE teacher and history teacher. At first he thought his destiny was to become a head football coach.
“I was coaching just about every sport. That’s what I thought I wanted to do back then, be a head football coach at the largest classification possible.”
Not that Smith wouldn’t have been a great head coach, but he has one of the best ever at Duncanville with Reginald Samples. In fact, Samples recently had the field at Panther Stadium named in his honor.
Today, Smith is glad his career took a different path and he went in the direction of his true passion.
“I was a sponge soaking everything in. I caught the bug. I knew this is what I wanted to do,” he said, giving a nod of appreciation toward Dana Walton, his mentor teacher in his early years.
“She made those first two years, made me feel like I had a lot of support and that I could do this – because it’s hard.”
Smith came to Duncanville from Marshall, where he served as Superintendent from 2012 through 2016. There, he implemented several academic initiatives and programs, as well as provided leadership that led to the passing of a $109.2 million bond in 2015.
This historic community vote was the first successful bond program in nearly 30 years in the Marshall ISD.
Now, there’s a $170 million bond election on the horizon for the Duncanville ISD on the ballot for Nov. 7.
“It’s so important that school buildings and school facilities are updated to meet the demands of learning today,” Smith said. “It was amazing the impact it had (in Marshall). From the community standpoint there was so much pride in the new school and the new facilities. From the students to parents, everyone in the community, it generated so much pride that was desperately needed.
“That’s a good feeling to know you impacted students for the next 20 or 30 years. That same thing is my mindset and focus here in Duncanville.”
Smith holds a doctorate degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Prairie View A&M University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in human performance from Texas Southern University.
Additionally, in 2010, he completed the Urban Superintendent Academy at Harvard University.
Fitting In The Community
Smith is the proud father of three adult children – two sons and one daughter. He enjoys travel, music, reading, and sports of all kinds.
And he loves being a part of the Duncanville community and educating his neighbors’ children.
“It’s given me an opportunity to serve the community in Duncanville, and that is the most important thing you can do for me from a superintendent standpoint,” he said. “They’ve embraced me, they’ve embraced my family and given me all I need to be an effective superintendent. You can’t ask for more than that.”