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TASA’s “Inspiring Leaders” tagline is not just a reminder of TASA’s commitment to leadership development; it describes our members themselves — school leaders who inspire others as they work to prepare future-ready students. Meet Marc Smith, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

Dr. Marc Smith has served as superintendent in Duncanville ISD since 2016. With more than 20 years experience working in public schools, Smith refers to the district as the “City of Champions,” based on Duncanville’s success not only in athletics, but also in art and academics.

“I am exceptionally proud of the daily dedication to excellence our workforce exhibits,” Smith says. “Collectively, we have created an education system that allows students to maximize their potential while here and positions them for college and career success. I’m proud that our students matriculate to highly esteemed universities. I’m even more proud that our graduates brag that Duncanville ISD made a difference in their life because we provided a solid academic foundation, caring environment and family-oriented culture.”

Staff members in the district say that Smith leads with intention, with a singular focus on students in Duncanville and what’s best for them.

“Dr. Smith’s open and transparent communication style fosters trust throughout the organization,” says Connie Wallace, chief of special initiatives in the district. “He exhibits consistent and dependable leadership that is always professional.”

Smith’s personal philosophy is “Failure is not an option.” With this motto in mind, he leads by example, striving to perform at his highest level all day, every day.

“Dr. Smith has established clear expectations to enhance our brand so that we are known for being champions in athletics, the arts and academics,” Wallace says. “In fact, early in his tenure in Duncanville ISD he established the Superintendent’s Scholars Recognition program. The ultimate goal is to support students towards National Merit Scholarship recognition. After a prolonged absence from the ranks and because of his vision, innovative thinking and pure inspirational guidance, we are currently celebrating that one of our students is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.”

Smith also believes in the importance of fostering professional relationships with others in his field, serving as a mentor to others to offer guidance and also give back the support he’s received.

“Mentorship is crucial to sustained success because what got you here may not keep you there (in a next level position),” he says. “As a mentor, I help others identify blind spots in their leadership, establish goals and expose them to the realities of the work. The benefit of mentoring is reciprocal. Not only are you pouring into someone else and providing explicit support and guidance, they are watching your leadership in real-time, making it paramount that you lead by example and practice what you preach!”