FALLSINGTON >> The Pennsbury School Board has selected Dr. Thomas Smith, the superintendent of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, New Jersey as its finalist for the position of Superintendent of Schools.
The announcement, made on April 6, follows an extensive search process facilitated by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU).
In January, the board sought feedback through an online survey on the traits and characteristics the community is looking for in a new superintendent. More than 1,100 responses were received, providing goals, priorities and other feedback for the board to consider when choosing its next superintendent.
The board then conducted a comprehensive search process working with the Bucks IU and guided by the community’s comments.
According to the board, 22 applications were received for the position, and ten candidates were initially selected for “meet and greet” interviews. Five candidates then advanced to a wide-ranging second round interview.
A single candidate, Dr. Thomas Smith, then moved forward to a comprehensive and robust final interview with the school board.
“I am very excited to join the Pennsbury community," said Dr. Smith following the annoucement. "Pennsbury has a strong reputation and from the comprehensive interview experience with the board, I know that we share the same vision of providing a world-class education for Pennsbury students. I look forward to working very hard for the community and partnering with the outstanding staff in Pennsbury to promote student achievement in academics, the arts, activities, and athletics.”
The Pennsbury School Board invites the community to meet Dr. Smith on Wednesday, April 14 during a community forum at Keller Hall at Pennsbury High School West, 608 South Olds Blvd., Fairless Hills, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The forum will be moderated by Dr. Mark Hoffman, executive director of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.
Input from residents is appreciated. Community members are invited to submit up to two questions for Dr. Smith through the following website: https://Go.BucksIU.org/Pennsbury. Questions will be accepted until midnight on Sunday, April 11.
Dr. Hoffman will categorize the questions by theme and ask them directly to Dr. Smith at the forum. The board has chosen this format in order to ensure that the maximum number of questions can be asked in the time allotted.
Due to COVID mitigation efforts, indoor seating capacity is limited, and will be available on a first-come first served basis. Six-foot social distancing is required at all times while inside the building and all individuals entering the building must wear a face covering. Please check the school district website for information to sign up to attend the event in person.
In order to allow maximum community participation, the event will be live-streamed and recorded. More information on accessing a live-stream or recording of the event will be available on the school district website closer to the date of the event.
About Dr. Smith
Dr. Smith has worked as a teacher, coach, and at all levels of administration in both small and large school districts. He currently serves as Superintendent of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, N.J. He also teaches graduate-level courses in education.
Dr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, two master’s degrees in education from The College of New Jersey, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Seton Hall University. He serves as the president of the Mercer County Administrators Association for the past seven years and was named Mercer County Superintendent of Year in 2018.
Dr. Smith’s recent work has focused on social-emotional learning and providing mental health programs for students. His other efforts include improving the cultural competency of staff and students and improving academic opportunities for all students. He lives with his wife and three children in Allentown, NJ.
The school board has scheduled a vote to name Dr. Smith to the position of Superintendent at its next regularly scheduled school board meeting on Thursday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. subject to the execution of a mutually acceptable contract of employment.
Once approved by the board, Dr. Smith is anticipated to begin his service on or before August 1, 2021.