Justin Smith Named Head of School
Dear Southfield Community,
The Board of Trustees of Southfield School is pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Justin Smith as our next Head of School beginning July 1, 2019. Justin comes to Shreveport from Tampa, Florida, where he currently serves as the Middle School Principal for St. John’s Episcopal Day School.
This selection is the result of an extensive national search conducted by an eleven-member Head of School Search Committee and supported by Southern Teachers Agency. Justin was invited to campus in February for various meeting and receptions with groups consisting of trustees, parents, faculty, staff, and students. After gathering feedback, he received the Search Committee’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees who, in turn, unanimously voted for his appointment.
In selecting Justin as our next Head of School, the Board of Trustees has chosen a tireless worker whose first commitment is to kids. His references praise his leadership instincts and his ability to see both the big picture and the details of any situation. He is thoughtful, measured, and ambitious, and the Board is confident that Justin will help Southfield reach new levels of excellence.
Justin attended George School in Pennsylvania before earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Elementary Education from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. After teaching at the middle and elementary school levels at two public schools in Maryland, he moved to Florida in 2008. Over the past 11 years at St. John’s Episcopal Day, Justin taught third grade before being asked to serve as Athletic Director and Middle School Assistant Principal. After completing his Master’s Degree in Independent School Leadership at Vanderbilt University, he was promoted to Middle School Principal, his current role.
While in the Vanderbilt program, Justin met his wife, Paola, a fellow Master’s candidate. Also an educator, Paola has served as Head of School at Shelton Academy in Doral, Florida since 2015. The Smiths welcomed their first child and future Eagle, Stefan, just days after Justin’s interview at Southfield.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to thank members of the Head of School Search Committee, our consultants at Southern Teachers Agency, and all the members of the Southfield community who have contributed greatly with their time, expertise, and feedback. We laud all who were involved for their commitment and dedication to the integrity of the search process.
We thank you for your support and ask you to join us in welcoming the Smith family to our school and our community.
– Thomas Sanders, President, Board of Trustees
Dear Southfield School Community,
Great joy and enthusiasm are energizing my anticipation to join you as your new Head of School. During my visit, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet a great breadth of constituents who make Southfield an outstanding and welcoming community. Undoubtedly, Southfield School is an exceptional place with exceptional people. This is evident through the faculty, administration, and parents’ dedication to nurturing a joy of learning in students, which I am wholeheartedly committed to continuing as we collectively proceed into the future.
My wife and son, Paola and Stefan, are looking forward to learning more about Southfield as they prepare to become a future parent and student of the school. Indeed, we are proud to be a part of such a wonderful community that exemplifies a commitment to family and education.
I much appreciate the wonderful effort of the members of the Search Committee. Their devotion to highlighting Southfield was apparent in all their actions and further magnified by everyone I encountered who extended a warm welcome during my visit.
I am looking forward to a great future with Southfield School.
– Justin L. Smith