The Melissa Independent School District will be looking for a new superintendent after a decade of stable leadership at the very top of the chain. Dr. Jason Smith has tendered his resignation from the district, sending the MISD Board of Trustees on a search for a new superintendent.

Smith, who has served as superintendent within the district for the past 10 years, is leaving to serve full-time as chief executive officer of TeacherTube, LLC. Founded by Smith, wife Jodie and brother Adam, TeacherTube in a national and international online educational community and content provider. The Smiths formed the company seven years ago.

" I have had the privilege to lead Melissa I.S.D. as Superintendent of Schools for the past 10 years. I will forever be thankful to Melissa I.S.D. and our community for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of developing Melissa I.S.D. into what it is today," said Smith in a release issued by the district. "As superintendent, these past 10 years have been about laying a foundation of ‘Excellence’ and ‘High Expectations’ that permeates throughout the district. As I reflect on my tenure as superintendent, I am so proud of the successes of our students, staff, and community. I will always believe Melissa I.S.D. is The Place To Be!"

The next move for the district’s Board of Trustees is to decide whether it will conduct the search for its next superintendent on its own or hire a firm to do the job. The board is currently in an information-gathering stage, according to MISD Director of Administrative Services Dr. Robert Rich. The board meets again on Oct. 21, a date which also marks the last day of Smith’s full-time employment with the district.

Rich will serve as interim superintendent until the board makes a decision on Smith’s replacement. Trustees approved the move at a special called meeting on Oct. 10.

During his tenure, Smith oversaw a district in transition and guided it through an incredibly rapid growth cycle. In the 2002-03 school year, the district encompassed pre-K through eighth grade totaling 465 students. Fast forward to current enrollment through high school and that number jumps to 1,887 students, an increase of slightly more than 400 percent. Rich credits Smith with a steady hand on the rudder while guiding MISD through the rising waters.

"He is the person with the most integrity of anyone that I’ve ever worked with," Rich said. "He came to Melissa ISD at a very pivotal time in our district [when] we were going from a period of time 10 years ago where there was no growth at all in the district to a time when it was predicted that growth was going to take off very rapidly. Who knows where Melissa ISD would be if he had not been chosen as superintendent. All of the positive things that have happened in our district are directly attributed to his leadership over the last 10 years."

Updates and other information regarding the district’s search for a superintendent can be found in the pages of the Tribune as well as the Cardinal Communique and the district website at www.melissaisd.org. To sign up for the Communique, visit the district website.