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Incoming Principal Chris Smart Ready to Hit the Ground Running

Newly selected principal Chris Smart made several visits to campus this spring, getting to know the O’Dowd community prior to his official start of service on July 1, 2019.

A highlight of his time on campus was attending the Multicultural Assembly. “I was energized by the manifestations of community in diversity and joy that I saw in the musical and dance performances. It was edifying to witness the positive audience,” Smart said.

“During the assembly, I also caught a glimpse of the heritage and tradition of O’Dowd. I sat next to the grandparents of two current students, one of whom was performing in the assembly. In the conversation, they shared with me that their children had attended O’Dowd and now their grandchildren were about to graduate from O’Dowd. I could clearly sense their passion for the mission of O’Dowd and the pride they had in seeing how their children and grandchildren had grown in character, intelligence, and service because of their experience at O’Dowd.”

Smart was equally inspired during his visits to classrooms. “A highlight was seeing the enthusiasm of science teacher La Queitta Hill and her students as they were assembling the framework of a robot during a lesson in Robotics class. Elements of design thinking, creativity, and academic excellence were present as students collaborated on the physical construction of parts of the robot as well as organizing the software that operates the robot. Deep learning can be fun!” he noted.

Smart said that he sensed during his visits to O’Dowd that there is a positive desire on the part of students and staff to be heard and to have their voices truly represent their truth and experiences. “I look forward to collaborating with President J.D. Childs in leading the O’Dowd community in refining a curriculum and a way of proceeding in co-curricular activities that promote diversity through inclusion,” he said.

Smart is looking forward to further engaging with everyone as the 2019-20 school year gets underway.


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