by Kate Evans
Jason Smith is the new Berkeley Springs High School Assistant Principal. His first day in his position was Monday, January 23. Former Assistant Principal Matthew Bender resigned at the end of December 30.
Smith said his biggest duties are overseeing discipline, athletics, testing and serving as Advanced Placement (AP) program coordinator. He also has other smaller duties.
Smith said that he has always had a passion for the classroom and wanted to be a teacher since he was in third grade. Smith went to collegiate coaching and then returned to the classroom. He is always looking for the next challenge.
Smith graduated from Towson University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Secondary Education in 1997. He received his Masters of Science Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Athletic Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.
Smith also has a Masters of Science Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas.
Smith taught high school English for more than 14 years. He was an English teacher at Musselman Middle School, Washington High School in Jefferson County Schools and Boonsboro, South Hagerstown and Smithsburg High Schools at Washington County Schools. He has taught tenth grade Honors World Literature, Advanced Placement (AP) Literature and AP Capstone and Research and yearbook.
The AP Capstone project is a two-year program researching and analyzing at a collegiate level and is the most difficult AP course, Smith said.
Smith was an adjunct faculty member of Blue Ridge Technical and Community College in the technology department for more than five years and was also a Shepherd University professor in their Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department for three years.
Smith’s academic experience includes being a yearbook advisor, founder and advisor for the Future Teachers of America club at Musselman Middle School, a Faculty Senate President and a Student Assistance Program chair. He also developed curriculum for English courses and retaining new staff and created an online technology class.
Smith’s coaching experience includes being a head girls varsity basketball coach for Washington High School and an assistant girls varsity basketball coach for Frederick High School. He was also an assistant women’s basketball coach and recruiting coordinator for Shepherd University for three years and an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for Frederick Community College for five years.
Smith’s college and high school coaching successes included top conference finishes, three-time conference champions, two-time conference semifinalist, three-time regional semifinalist, eastern regional champion and two players of the year. He was proud of turning around the basketball program at Washington High School in two years. Smith said the kids had him in the classroom and trusted him.
Smith said that “this job is all about kids, building relationships and working together. Everything I do has always been for my students.”
Smith said Berkeley Springs High School is rich in tradition, history and family history. Everyone everywhere is struggling coming out of COVID and trying to reestablish their traditions. His purpose is to learn the culture of the school.
Smith said he’s very happy being at Morgan County Schools and plans on being there for a long time.
Smith said he loves living in Morgan County now. He watched the moon and two planets with clear sight last week and is enjoying nature and the stars. He’s met new friends with whom they’re spending time. He and his wife are falling into the pace of living here and “it’s lovely.”