Smartt Announces Bid for District 5 Position on SISD School Board

Staff Writer

Longtime Sweetwater educator seeking first term, committed to students and education

Sweetwater, TX – Kathy Smartt has announced that she is running for the District 5 position on the Sweetwater Independent School District School Board. A fixture in Sweetwater’s education system for 40 years and newly retired from the district, Smartt is no stranger to both the successes and challenges that face SISD and is committed to the continued betterment of Sweetwater’s educational system and its students.
“I’ve wanted the best for Sweetwater ISD for 40 years,” said Smartt. “That drive didn’t stop when I retired. I will always work for what’s best for all kids.”
Before her service as the district’s assistant superintendent and Sweetwater High’s principal, Smartt realized her passion for education as a student at Texas Tech University. Graduating from the university with honors, Smartt began her teaching career at Southeast Elementary teaching third grade and driving a bus route.
“It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Sweetwater and the schools,” said Smartt. “SISD has always strived to be on the cutting edge while maintaining rich history and traditions. We have always had the best of both worlds.”
Earning a masters in education from Sul Ross State University in 1985, Smartt was promoted to the role of assistant principal at Sweetwater Middle School in 1990 and was soon after named principal at Philip Nolan three years later. When Sweetwater Intermediate School opened its doors, Smartt was tasked with moving students and staff over to the new building and as principal, helped to foster a welcoming and warm environment for students to learn and grow. After 15 years serving as the principal of SIS, Smartt was promoted to the role of assistant superintendent in 2006.
“I loved being the principal at SIS,” said Smartt. “Leaving SIS to join the administration team involved a lot of tears, but I learned so much. It was so exciting to be part of what was happening from Early Head Start to post-secondary plans.”
In 2018, Smartt retired from Sweetwater ISD as the SHS principal and SISD public relations coordinator after a successful career that spanned four decades and educating nearly three generations of Sweetwater children.
“I enjoyed my years at the administration building but loved spending my last full year at high school,” said Smartt. “I had forgotten how being with kids recharges your energy and keeps you looking forward to the next day. Being on stage as the seniors graduated was something I will never forget. I reflected on how my entire life had been dedicated to this particular moment for thousands of Sweetwater students.”
During her career, Smartt led her campuses and the district in earning a “recognized” status in ’95, ’97-’00, and ’04-06 and an “exemplary” status in ’01-’03. As the principal of Sweetwater Intermediate, the school received the Title I Distinguished Campus accommodation three years in a row from ‘01-‘03. Texas Monthly also named Sweetwater ISD in their Top 100 Schools in Texas during Smartt’s time at SIS.
“It was never a job,” said Smartt. “It was fun. It was my passion and my mission. I gave my entire life and career to SISD with no regrets.”
Smartt has served on educational boards such as the Principal Leadership Initiative Regional Advisory Committee for Region XIV from 1997-2007 and was the TEPSA president of the district from 2000-2001. Smartt currently sits on the Nolan County United Way Board.
Early Voting begins April 22 and ends April 30 at the SISD Administration Building at 207 Musgrove Street from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Election Day is May 4 with voting held at Sweetwater Middle School at 305 Lamar Street from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“I look forward to continuing my dedication by serving the school and community as a school board member,” said Smartt.