Dennis M. Smith, who has been assistant superintendent of the Crane School District in Yuma, Ariz., today becomes superintendent of the Laguna Beach Unified School District. He succeeds Billy Barnes, whose contract was not extended by the school board.
The Laguna Beach school board unanimously selected Smith at a special meeting on Saturday. "We've been working to find a new superintendent since February," said school board member Charlene Ragatz. "We had an applicant pool of about 80 persons, and we narrowed that down to seven candidates."
Smith, 35, is a native of Mansfield, Ohio, but grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Arizona State University, and his doctorate in education administration from the University of Arizona.
Smith was a teacher and assistant principal for six years in the Paradise Valley School District in suburban Phoenix and served as a principal in the Catalina Foothill School District in Tucson, also for six years. He has been an assistant superintendent in Yuma for the past year and a half.
Smith and his wife, Ann, have a son, Matthew, 3.