Former Superintendent, KIPP Texas Public Schools–San Antonio

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Allen Smith is the former regional superintendent of KIPP Texas–San Antonio, where he oversaw a region of 3,600 students from 2019 to 2023. Smith increased the state performance rating in his region from a “C” to a “B”; helped F rated schools within his region move to “B” rated campuses; and implemented instructional supports for low-performing, high-need schools. In addition, he supported and advised the KIPP Texas state superintendent on school growth, regional strategy and development, school and staffing models, and regional leadership pathways and development.

Prior to his time in San Antonio, Smith was the senior deputy superintendent for Denver Public Schools, where he led the district’s Culture, Equity and Leadership Team (CELT). The team examined the impact of institutionalized racism on student achievement and employees of color and developed recommendations to address inequities within the system.

Before his work in Denver, he was deputy superintendent and chief of schools for Oakland Unified School District in California. In that role, he helped transform low-performing schools; implemented a new school rating system; led innovative professional development opportunities; and supported other initiatives related to equity and learning pathways. Prior to that, Smith was West Learning Community superintendent for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. During his tenure, all 22 schools under his purview demonstrated gains in student performance. Smith also served as executive director of Denver Summit Schools Network (DSSN). In his first year, all schools met or exceeded district and state expectations. President Barack Obama honored Smith for increasing financial literacy education in the DSSN schools; his accomplishments were also chronicled in a book about school turnarounds.

In addition, Smith’s work in education includes his time as principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College in Denver, a low-performing campus that Smith helped transform into the city’s fourth-ranked high school. The school was twice recognized by the Colorado Department of Education and achieved some of the highest graduation rates in the district. Smith also co-founded Denver’s Skyland Community High School, a charter school that served at-risk students. He began his career as a teacher in Dayton, Ohio.

Smith holds a master’s in education from Denver University; a bachelor’s in English from Central State University in Ohio; and a host of certifications from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Urban Superintendent Program; the Public Education Leadership Program; and the Urban Principal Institute. He was also selected to participate in the Broad Superintendent Academy’s National Superintendent Leadership Program and was a member of the fourth cohort of the Future Chiefs leadership development program.