New Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Marc Smith began his term on Jan. 22 following the decision by the board of trustees to hire him to replace former Superintendent Christie Whitbeck.

Smith, a career educator and administrator, has served in public schools for 30 years, including the last seven years as superintendent for Duncanville ISD and four in Marshall ISD, according to the FBISD news release.

He also served in FBISD for six years as an executive principal and an assistant superintendent, according to the district.

Smith holds a Ph.D. from the University of Houston in administration and supervision as well as a master’s from Prairie View A&M University in administration and supervision. He earned his bachelor’s degree in human performance at Texas Southern University, as previously reported.

Smith, who is stepping into the role mid-year, replied to questions sent to him via email by Community Impact about what he anticipates his first semester as superintendent to look like as well as his vision for the role going forward.

This Q&A may have been lightly edited for length or clarity.

What are your priorities for the first 100 days of your new tenure?

In the first 90 days, my priorities are:
  • To build a unified and collaborative relationship with the board of trustees grounded in mutual respect, open communication and a shared vision
  • To gain understanding of the diverse perspectives of stakeholders while making personal connections and learning about the district’s culture and climate
  • To analyze and evaluate FBISD’s staff and leadership to develop priorities for identifying, attracting, retaining and compensating high-quality talent throughout the district
  • To establish a process for budget adoption and oversight that ensures transparency and prioritizes the initiatives that are essential for student academic achievement
  • To observe instructional programs and evaluate student academic performance trends to determine high-achievement areas and additional resource needs
What community engagement activities do you foresee to reconnect with the district?

I have been in motion since day one, engaging with the community, parents, students and staff. Becoming acquainted with the current culture and making personal connections in every sector of the district is one of the key goals I plan to achieve in my first 90 days.

Some of the highlights of the events I have attended include meeting with students and staff at the James Reese Career and Technical Center, getting a chance to meet more staff and community members at the board of trustees appreciation reception recently, and attending a high-energy pep rally at Commonwealth Elementary to celebrate their status as the No. 1 elementary school in Texas.

What are some topics from the midyear discipline report you see as most critical?

Our board of trustees and staff are focused on continuing to improve the educational environments at our schools.

Conversations during the midyear discipline presentation illustrated our collaborative partnership to continue to improve in this area.

We have implemented a new student code of conduct, and we are monitoring its impact on discipline data. All aspects of our discipline data are critical topics as we know that a positive learning environment supports student learning.

What would you like our readers to know about your focus for the 2024-25 school year?

I want everyone to know I’m excited to be here, and I am focused on building trust and confidence in the entire FBISD team.

I have a personal acronym that I live by. It’s P-A-C: P stands for Professionalism, A stands for Accountability and C stands for Communication.

That means I believe in operating with integrity, competence, great customer service, transparent communication and focusing on results rather than excuses.

I ask that the community be engaged because that is vital to the success of our students. I welcome feedback. My ears are always open to it. I want our community to know that we will always do what is best for our students.