Justin Smith

Justin Smith has been hired as the new Carthage High School principal beginning for the 2020-21 year.

Justin Smith has been hired as the new Carthage High School principal beginning for the 2020-21 school year.

The school board unanimously approved Smith’s hiring Monday. He will replace Jason Harris, who left the district to become an assistant superintendent in Atlanta ISD.

“We are very excited to hire Mr. Smith as our new high school principal,” Superintendent John Wink said. “He is a very positive and energetic leader, who will no doubt bring a lot of wonderful things to Carthage High School and to our community.”

Smith comes from Bryan ISD, where he served as district community outreach officer. He also served as principal at Sam Rayburn Intermediate School, where he led the campus to be a National STEM School of Excellence.

“Another thing that is outstanding about him is that he has also been named the Secondary Teacher of the Year in Rockwall ISD and Bryan ISD during his career,” Wink said. “So he has not only proven himself as a leader, but he’s also proven himself as a teacher.”

The district interviewed 14 applicants, narrowing down the pool to four who interviewed with both teachers and administrators.

“We are drawn to his personality,” Board President Ben Donald said. “We want him to lead the high school campus because we think he’ll take it to the next level, and we are excited to see him do that.”

Smith is married to his high school sweetheart Bettina, and together they have three children: Jaxson, Ruby Catherine and Slaydon. Outside of his career, he has served as a Habitat for Humanity board member and volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club.

Smith said it was the feel of the community that inspired him to apply for the position and gave him the desire to bring his family to Carthage.

“I’m very excited to come to Carthage High School and educate champions,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to work with the talented people on that campus. I know there is a winning culture here and that makes me excited.”