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Dr. Andrew Smith Named Assistant Superintendent of Innovation at NC Department of Public Instruction

Rowan Salisbury Schools’ (RSS) Chief Administrative & Strategic Planning Officer Dr. Andrew Smith was appointed assistant superintendent of innovation at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) by NC Superintendent Catherine Truitt in early June. 

In his new role, Smith will be responsible for developing innovative practices across the department and providing oversight for the Office of Charter Schools, the Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration and represent the agency as its designee externally on various statewide councils.

"We're excited to have Andrew joining the team here at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in the critical role as assistant superintendent of innovation," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt."  As chief administrative and strategic planning officer and former assistant superintendent of transformation for Rowan-Salisbury Schools, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping lead the state's only renewal district, and we know he will bring the same kind of fresh thinking to NCDPI."

Smith has most recently served as the chief administrative and strategic planning officer for RSS.  In this role, he provided leadership for schools and central office departments in developing transformational practices, processes, and strategies to further RSS’s mission and vision while overseeing a $12 million annual budget.  

He managed the facilitation and implementation of the district’s strategic plan, Renewal 2027, and school board policy development and revision. He supervised district-level technology and information systems, research and accountability, student assessment, student assignment, grants and resource development.  He also managed the federal $26 million Teacher and School Leadership (TSL) grant.

Smith began his career in RSS as a biology and forensics instructor at East Rowan High School in 2009.  He also served in various other capacities within the district over his 13-year tenure, including assistant superintendent of transformation, chief strategy officer, and director of innovation.

In addition to his leadership in RSS, Smith currently serves as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Education and served as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University Department of Education from 2011 until 2014.  

Interim superintendent Dr. Jason Gardner said, “I look forward to a continued partnership with Dr. Smith as he works to advance innovative practices across North Carolina.”

Smith obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from Wake Forest University, a Graduate Certificate in Administration and Supervision and a Doctor of Education in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

“This transition is bittersweet. Rowan-Salisbury Schools has been my professional home for over 13 years.  I have been fortunate to have built relationships with colleagues, students, families, and community members that I will cherish for a lifetime,” Smith said.  “I am excited about this new opportunity to impact innovation and strategic planning for schools and districts across the state of North Carolina to make sure the future is bright for all of our students. I am excited that I will still be able to support the innovative work of RSS through Renewal at the state level.  I will continue to reside in Rowan County and be a fervent supporter of this community.”  

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photo of a paper bag with summer meals written on it.

The Rowan-Salisbury Schools School Nutrition Department is providing free meals to children ages 3 to 18 throughout the summer at various locations.