The Dupo Community School District 196 school board hired the Marion High School principal to serve as its new superintendent.
Stephen Smith, 45, will begin his new position on Monday. "I've been a principal for a long time. I've loved every minute of it," he said, "but a goal of mine has always been to be a superintendent."
The Dupo superintendent position previously was held by Terry Milt. Michael Koebel had been serving as interim superintendent for the last month since Milt's departure.
Smith was approved with a 4-1 vote as the new leader of the district during a special school board meeting Tuesday night. School board member Beth Donald, of East Carondelet, cast the dissenting vote. Smith will earn $125,000 annually.
Smith has served 11 years as principal at Marion High School, which is undergoing a $68 million renovation/building project. He previously worked at Carbondale Community High School as a teacher, women's golf coach and assistant principal.
Smith is a native of Marion. "I had the unique opportunity of serving as principal of the high school I attended," he said.
Smith has a doctorate degree in educational leadership and administration from Oakland City University, a master's degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a bachelor's degree from Murray State University.
Smith lives in Marion with his wife of 20 years, Elizabeth, who is a teacher at Rend Lake College in Ina. The couple has two children, Hayley, a high school senior, and Cooper, who is in the seventh grade.
Smith said the family plans to relocate closer to the metro-east following Hayley's senior year of high school. In the meantime, he will find temporary accommodations.
The Dupo School District serves nearly 1,200 students, who attend three schools: Bluffview Elementary, Dupo Junior High and Dupo High.
Smith looks forward to starting his position at Dupo School District. "I've already been made to me feel very welcome there," he said. "There's a lot to do, and we're going to dig in quick."
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 618-239-2562 or email@example.com.