St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School is pleased to announce that history department chair Geoffrey Smith will assume the role of Interim Dean of Students for the 2019-2020 school year. Smith succeeds Laura Clay who is stepping down from the position at the end of the school year to return to North Carolina.
Smith, who holds the Fort Chair in Writing at SAS, joined the SAS faculty as a history teacher in 2014. In the intervening five years, he has instituted a multi-day Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at the school, advised the school’s Debate Club and Christian Athletes’ Club, and led a Bible Study group. He recently coached the school’s inaugural Ethics Bowl team to a state championship. His Winterim course, Art of Manliness: Skills Every Young Person Should Know, is a perennial favorite with students. He is also a lead house parent, assistant coach of the boys’ varsity soccer team, and leader of the ninth-grade Grade Level Program team. Smith has introduced several electives to the curriculum, including a Special Studies course that teaches students research skills and guides them through independent, cross-disciplinary research projects. Last year, he was elected by his fellow faculty members to be their representative to the school’s Board of Trustees.
“There’s an old joke that those who can’t teach become administrators,” said Head of School Karl Sjolund. “In Geoffrey Smith’s case this is definitely not true. He is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and energy in the classroom, in our residential houses, and in our extracurricular activities. I am pleased that he is interested in testing out this new role which provides opportunities for spreading his talents and enthusiasm to all of our students.”
Smith received one of six 2016 Outstanding Educators Awards from Humanities Tennessee and the 2016 Belz-Lipman Holocaust Educator Award sponsored by the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. A model of lifelong learning, Smith spends his summers honing his teaching skills and expanding his breadth of knowledge. Among other projects, his summer professional development activity has included researching the life and work of Pulitzer Prize winner James Agee, a distinguished alumnus of St. Andrew's-Sewanee School, examining themes of religion, education, childhood, labor, and the transition to adulthood.
Smith formerly taught at the All Saints' Academy in Winter Haven, Florida where he was chair of the History Department. He is a graduate of the University of the South.