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Newport-Mesa Board of Education Selects Dr. Wesley Smith as New Superintendent
Posted 9/9/21

Dr. Wesley Smith 

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education selects Dr. Wesley Smith as the new superintendent to lead our District of more than 18,000 students. 

Get to know Dr. Smith in this short video.

Conozca al Dr. Smith en este breve vídeo.

Dr. Smith’s 24 years in California public education include 13 years as a site or district leader and eight years as an educator and influencer at the state and federal levels. Most recently, Dr. Smith served as the executive director of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), which is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States. 

“I strongly believe in visible, service oriented, collaborative leadership,” said Dr. Smith. “As superintendent I spent a significant amount of time at school sites and in the community to better identify system and stakeholder needs and values,” he said.

Dr. Smith has served as the superintendent of Morgan Hill Unified School District, and superintendent, assistant superintendent, and principal in Cascade Union Elementary School District. He also has served as a high school English, English language development, and Spanish teacher, as well as a football and baseball coach. In addition to Dr. Smith’s K-12 experience, he is currently an adjunct professor in the doctoral program at the University of Southern California, and was an adjunct professor for Shasta Community College and National University

Known as a strong leader with a systems approach to student achievement, Dr. Smith has been successful in narrowing the achievement gap, restoring positive working relationships, rebuilding confidence in a school district, and giving families a true voice in their child’s education. 

Dr. Smith is a responsible steward of public funds, having successfully maintained a balanced budget amidst funding cuts and declining enrollment, during the Great Recession, all while focused on providing staff resources to continue to meet student needs. He also served on the board of the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team (FCMAT). 

“Hiring a superintendent is one of the most important roles of a school board and I am pleased that  our Board unanimously agreed that Dr. Smith would be the best to lead our District to greater success,” said NMUSD Board President Karen Yelsey. 

 As part of the comprehensive search for a new superintendent, the NMUSD Board of Education solicited feedback from stakeholders. Feedback resulted in the community seeking a leader with experience in California public education, both as a teacher and administrator; proven student achievement; success at community building; and strong communication skills. 

“Dr. Smith has the experience and established leadership qualities that our stakeholders and we, as a Board, were looking for,” said Yelsey. “We are excited to welcome him into the Newport-Mesa community,” she said.

Dr. Smith has received recognitions from students, parents, and communities. He was named the California Association of Student Councils Educator of the Year, he received the PTA Golden Oak recognition, which is given to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the welfare of children and youth in the school or community. The City of Morgan Hill also gave him the Key to the City.

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University, Masters of Arts from Claremont Graduate School, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Smith’s contract will formally be approved at the September 14, 2021 NMUSD Board Meeting and his first day at NMUSD is expected to be October 18, 2021.