Atlanta Public Schools announced Tuesday in a news release that Associate Superintendent Steve Smith will resign effective June 30, to return to the private sector. He has served as the second-ranking executive since Superintendent Erroll Davis was appointed in 2011. Davis is retiring effective June 30.
Earlier this month Smith was awarded a six-month, $114,300 consulting contract starting July 1. Smith’s annual salary with the district is about $211,000.
The contract was approved at the June 2 Atlanta Board of Education meeting. Kimberly Willis Green, a district spokeswoman, said Smith “will be assisting the new superintendent [Meria Carstarphen] with her transition through December.”
Smith is credited with providing executive oversight of the district’s daily operations, collaborating with the superintendent to stabilize and rebuild the school system following the CRCT cheating scandal and cultivating productive relations between the district staff and the Atlanta Board of Education as the administration’s primary point of contact to the board.
Smith has also leveraged local and national opportunities as the district’s spokesperson and leader of the enterprise-wide communications, external affairs and innovation functions. In addition, Smith assumed temporary oversight of the day-to-day operations of the district’s technology department as the interim chief information officer.
Among other accomplishments reached during Smith’s tenure are managing the district’s most extensive redistricting in 10 years; re-engaging stakeholders and partners during a challenging transition; and creating an innovation office that yielded the board’s approval of three additional charter schools, continuing the district’s position as the school system with the largest number of start-up charter schools in Georgia.
Prior to joining the district, Smith served as vice president of corporate responsibility for the Turner Broadcasting System. As the district transitions to new Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s leadership, Smith will remain a consultant to her and the board through December.
“As my right hand, Steve has helped to shepherd Atlanta Public Schools through a difficult transition,” Davis said in a statement. “His combined experience in education and business has been invaluable. As he returns to the private sector, I am confident that he will continue to be an asset to APS and a champion for education.”
In an email District spokeswoman Kimberly Willis Green said Smith has not yet disclosed where he will be working in the private sector.