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Missouri Association of Rural Education



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2002 Outstanding Rural Building Administrator

William Smart

has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to the education of America's youth at the Cole Camp R-I School District.  Beginning as a classroom instructor and then moving to the position of High School Principal.  Mr. Smart has the reputation of being consistently fair in all situations when dealing with students.  He provides encouragement of the students to strive to do more in academic as well as athletic activities.  Educators' know that the past 30 years in education have seen dramatic changes and expectations that the public has demanded that school make.  Mr. Smart has kept abreast of reforms and has implemented programs that have benefited all students.

Although Mr. Smart has spent a major portion of his educational career in the same district, he never stops trying to improve the school.  Through his guidance, the secondary program eight year ago, moved from the traditional seven period day to block scheduling.  Today students and staff benefit from this schedule.  Professional development activities are a key component of Mr. Smart's educational philosophy.  He encourages his staff to participate in a variety of activities designed to facilitate professional growth and increase student achievement.  With Mr. Smart's leadership, the Cole Camp School District received the highest ranking the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awards to schools in Missouri.

Mr. Smart shows a genuine interest in and concern for all young people.  He takes the time necessary to help students with their problems and is visibly happy with them in their time of joy and success.  He is present at and involved with all school activities, including homecoming, sporting events, music events, helping build senior floats for the community fair as well as the sponsor of the Student Council.  Members of his staff describe him as an individual that can project a very stable, calming influence in potentially tense situations.

It has been amazing, writes one staff member, at Mr. Smart's ability to juggle all the responsibilities that his position must perform and still find time to be a devoted husband, father and grandfather.  On top of that he officiates basketball and is the Athletic Director.  Mr. Smart is also very involved and interested in church and community activities where he serves on numerous boards and committee's.  Mr. Smart most recently served as the President of the West Central Principals Association.  In 1999 he was selected as the West Central Principal of the Year.

One of his greatest joys is the fact that so many of "his" students are successful productive citizens.  Rarely dos a week pass that a former student comes by to visit with him and express his thanks for Mr. Smart's support and encouragement while they were in high school.

His dedication and influence in the area of education only comes naturally.  His grandmother taught school for 40 years, his mother taught for 43 years, his son is in his 3rd year of teaching and his daughter is preparing to become a teacher.  A testimony to his influence and inspiration to those who work now or have worked for him, is the fact that five of his former teachers are now practicing principals.