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Meet the Superintendent Finalist: H. Allen Smith II, School System Leader in Mansfield, Texas

Adrianna DaviesNews

H. Allen Smith II stands out as a transformative leader in the educational landscape, renowned for his unwavering commitment to excellence and equity. He has taken on some of the greatest challenges to educational equity throughout the country, making a series of remarkable achievements in revitalizing underperforming schools and driving systemic change across various states, including, what is considered to be the most successful school reform effort in education history, Denver Public Schools.

Career Highlights:

  • Dynamic Leadership: A seasoned and proven leader with a wide skill range, demonstrating exceptional accomplishment in K-12 roles before ascending to high-impact positions in large school systems in Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, and California.
  • Superintendent Roles: Proven excellence as Superintendent of KIPP Texas’s San Antonio region, overseeing significant student populations, and holding pivotal leadership roles in Denver Public Schools, Oakland Unified School District, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
  • Operational Mastery: Skilled in managing large-scale budgets, adept at balancing fiscal responsibilities with innovative educational strategies to enhance student outcomes.
  • Community Engagement: Deeply involved in local and educational initiatives, including leadership roles in San Antonio’s key educational committees and groups.

Education & Training:

  • MA in Education, Denver University (2012)
  • BA in English, Central State University, Wilberforce, OH (1993)
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education: Participated in several leadership and educational programs.
  • Yale School of Management: Broad Superintendent Academy
  • Cornell University: Certificate of Social Emotional Wellness and Counseling

Key Achievements:

  • Academic Turnaround: Successfully raised academic performance in numerous schools, transforming failing grades into exemplary achievements.
  • Curriculum Innovation: Implemented cutting-edge curricula and programs, significantly benefiting diverse student populations, including those with disabilities and English learners.
  • Budget Expansion: Expertly managed and expanded budgets, enhancing educational resources and student support systems.
  • Educator Development: Cultivated a culture of high retention and professional growth among educators and leaders.
  • Community Advocacy: Actively engaged in community development, contributing significantly to educational and workforce advancements.


  • Awards and Honors: Received numerous accolades, including the Buffalo Star Award and recognition at two White House Convenings, for impactful work in education.

Board and Community Volunteer Work:

  • Cognia: Board Member
  • City Dive: Board Chair
  • Religious and Community Organizations: Pastor of Outreach at New Life Fellowship and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, 1989.


  • Son, husband, father of 4, friend, coach, and mentor
  • Avid deep-sea fisherman
  • Lifelong learner

Personal Statement: “I am thrilled to be a finalist for the superintendent position in Dayton, OH. My three-decade journey from a student athlete at Central State University to teacher at Allen Elementary School, Dayton Public Schools to educational leader throughout the country underscores my dedication to learning and improvement. I am eager to bring my rich experience and passion for educational excellence back to Dayton, fostering an environment where every student can achieve their fullest potential.”

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