This is part of a series helping the public get to know the new school administrators in Bourbon County.
Tracy Smith, 64, was hired as the 2022-23 Uniontown Junior High/High School Principal.
Smith earned his Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Ottawa in 1979 and his Masters In School Administration in 1992 from Pittsburg State University for Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade.
He was an Art Teacher/Coach at Louisburg (1979-82),
Art Teacher, Athletic Director, Coach at Maize (1982-85),
Assoc. Director of Development at Ottawa University (1985-87),
and previously served at Uniontown Schools-(1987-2015) at the K-12 Art/Coach (87-92,) JH/HS Principal (1992-2010)and West Bourbon Elementary School Principal (2010-15).
He has been married to Teresa for 34 years and has three adult children, all married, all graduates of UHS: Dain, Kaity, and Abbie.
“We have seven grandchildren plus #8 arriving in August from my son in California,” he said.
“Since my retirement seven years ago I have been actively involved in the United Methodist Church,” he said. “I am a local licensed pastor and currently serve three area churches: Bronson, Moran, and Mildred UMC’s.”
In his spare time he spends time with grandkids, woodworking, art projects, and officiating volleyball and is a track starter with the Kansas State High School Athletic Association.
His hometown is Richmond, Kansas.
Why did you become an educator?
“Art has always been a gift that I’ve had and it was/is something that was a natural fit. Teaching/showing/leading others has also been a gift. My career has been enjoyable and I’ve never been disappointed any day. I like and step up to the challenges each and every day in working with my team of teachers and our kids we are assigned to lead.”
Did someone inspire you?
“I come from a long line of teachers in my family. Grandfather French Booher was a principal in southeast Kansas. My Grandmother and Mother we’re both teachers. Teresa my wife, now retired, was a lifetime teacher and Kaity, my daughter is also this year returning to teaching (5th grade) at WBE.”
What is the best thing about being an educator?
“Making a difference with kids. That’s what it is all about. Period. Being part of a group of professional educators is a great inspiration for me. Watching them bring a kid from A to Z is exciting and a blessing to be associated with these teachers. Uniontown has always been a great place/school. Time after time, the Eagles prove success in college readiness, vocational success, and leadership skills when they leave us.”
What is a challenge?
“Change. Happens every day. Global, Society, Requirements from Fed, State…. For me to create a environment of success, top down, where all children can be safe, comfortable and hungry to learn and to succeed is my personal goal. I feel stepping back into the ‘U’ I have a little advantage, due to a long relationship with the parents in the past, and yet with my tenure, at some point grandparents….I’m old, I admit. We all need to work together, because bottom line, it’s about your kids, our future and our heritage of having one of the best school systems in Kansas. ‘Go Eagles’.”