The administrator behind it all


Assistant Principal Steve Smith poses with the binder for graduation ceremony procedures. 

Walking into the CAPS office, I can hear the sound of many hard at work. There are cubicles filled with those of authority, collaborating and helping to keep this school safe.

High school assistant principal Steven Smith sits tucked away in his small 10 by 6 office, covered with books and notes, similar to one of a mad detective as he gets ready to plan his summer vacation – summer school.

Sightings of Smith are rare. If you’re lucky, you can catch a quick glimpse of him traveling through the much dreaded hallways that flood with students between periods.

So, as he slicks his mid- length red hair back, and fixes his herringbone suit jacket, he allows us into his office, and therefore into his mind.

Day by day, week by week, Smith quietly leads the high school community, organizing events and orchestrating the daily tasks required to keep the school running.

Smith was born in Chesapeake, Virginia along with his twin sister and six siblings whom, he says, have very little resemblance to him.

Smith went to college in Boston where he received his degree in Chemistry, he found a part time job working around 30 hours a week. Here, he met his future wife, who went to the same college.
Eventually, Smith found himself at Harvard. However, it was not for school it was for work.

As Smith began to start a family with his wife, he realized he wanted a better environment for his children to grow up in. So, Smith packed his bags and moved to upstate New York.

Smith started his career at Shen with a gig as a chemistry teacher. While teaching redox reactions, he replaced the dean, which at the time was the equivalent of a class assistant principal today. A reaction took place from teacher to administration with a byproduct of never teaching again.

In conjunction with being the associate principal, Smith has voluntarily undertaken the role of constructing the schedule for everyone in the building, organizing summer school, as well as graduation every June.  

Smith boasts that there is not a bolt, or window in this school that he does not know.

Despite his involvement, Smith still feels the need to give back to the community and once took on the role of advisor to the Key Club..

Looking at his office, you can get a sense of the amount of things and events that Smith oversees and has taken upon himself.

“Once you get a birds eye view of everything and start organizing, it’s not that bad,” Smith said.

Organization was one of the main qualities his co-worker, Lucas LaBarre focused on when speaking about his colleague.

“He’s very well organized and knows a lot about technology,” LaBarre said.

Lucas LaBarre, a newer administrator to the Shenendehowa District recognized Smith as a veteran.

“He knows a lot that others do not and was very helpful because I was new,”  LaBarre said.

LaBarre said he has the privilege to work alongside Smith and make decisions together regarding the Senior class.

“Even though you don’t see him too much, he’s a crucial part to running this school. He keeps this place moving,” LaBarre said.

Despite the important role Smith plays in the school community, not many students know who Smith is.  Out of 20 students, 18 said they did not know Mr. Smith or what his job consisted of.

Although not many students can recognize him by just hearing his name,  he is the man behind it all. He is Oz operating Emerald city hiding behind closed doors.



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