brockton public schools (MA)
Kathleen A. Smith, JD has earned a reputation as a strong leader and relentless advocate for fair funding for all school districts in her five years as Superintendent of the Brockton Public Schools, an era marked by epic Chapter 70 state aid funding challenges. She has collaborated with top, elected state leaders at home and on Beacon Hill while working in concert with community partners to adopt schools and classrooms, and offer in-kind and other services to bridge and fill financial and other gaps for Brockton’s close to 18,000 students and 2,800 faculty, staff and administrators.
Superintendent Smith earns continual distinction as a sought-after speaker both locally and nationally on issues of poverty and Brockton’s success at narrowing the achievement gap for students at all levels. She recently received the President’s Award from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents for her leadership role in spearheading the advocacy effort to achieve equitable funding for all students in the Commonwealth. She was also named Superintendent of the Year for 2018 from the Massachusetts State Parent Teacher Association for her commitment to parent and community engagement.
From her decades of experience, Superintendent Smith brings a unique approach to collaboration, a depth of institutional knowledge of the school district and heartfelt affection for its students and families.
Her vision for leading a successful 21st-Century school district includes excellence in instruction and student achievement as a primary objective where she believes all children can learn and every teacher can and must contribute. This credo is front and center in a district whose mission is Instructional Excellence for Every Student, Every Day.
Superintendent Smith is an Honorary VIP Delegate and Presenter with the RTM Business Group, a member of the Education, Research and Development Institute (ERDI,) and part of the Renaissance Learning Advisory Board. She is also a Co-Chair of the state Urban Superintendent’s Network.
Her commitment extends beyond the city’s borders, serving on the boards of directors of several worthy organizations including the DJ Dream Fund, the MetroSouth Chamber of Commerce, the Children’s Museum in Easton and the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board.
Superintendent Smith is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the District Administration Leadership Institute and the National Superintendents Roundtable.
Superintendent Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and elementary education from Westfield State University, a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Bridgewater State University and a juris doctorate from New England Law Boston.
In 2016, Superintendent Smith received the Dr. Marilyn White Barry, ’58, Graduate Alumni Award from Bridgewater State University, where she is a member of the Class of 1988. The award goes to an alumnus who has demonstrated the qualities of outstanding professional achievement at the state, regional or national level.
She has been employed in the Brockton Public Schools for 41 years, beginning her career as an elementary school special education and Title I teacher, served as a school adjustment counselor, as a Communities and Schools for Career Success entrepreneur, an MCAS manager and Director of Community Schools, and a visiting professor teaching Education and the Law through Fitchburg State University until her appointment as Superintendent, the first woman to hold the position.
Dr. Smith, the former Kathleen Alward, has been married for 35 years to Gerald Smith. The couple has two grown daughters and makes their home in Brockton and Falmouth, MA.