Monroe County schools will have a new face in the superintendent seat

O'Brian started off his career in education as a 7th grade math teacher, then he was an assistant principal for six years

SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-  Taking on a new position can be difficult for some; while others see it as a challenge.

Principal Chad O’Brian is making the move from the principal’s office at Smithville High School’ to the superintendent’s office for the Monroe County School District.

On July 1, 2022, O’Brian will take over as superintendent for Monroe County Schools.

O’Brian started off his career in education as a 7th grade math teacher, then he was an assistant principal for six years.  13-years-ago he became the principal at Smithville High School, and said his faith and family helped him throughout the process.

“I’m a person of faith and everything I do in my life I feel like I want to be guided by the holy spirit in what we do and that’s his timing and that’s not always my timing, but I feel like this is the right time for me and my family and the district,” said O’Brian.

During his tenure at Smithville O’Brian has worked with colleagues that he now considers friends, like assistant principal Jeremy Duke. The two men have worked together for nearly two decades.

Duke said he’s thrilled for O’Brian as he tackles his new position.

“We’ve gotten used to Coach O’Brian being our principal here and he’s done an absolute fantastic job you know we went through the tornado with him back in 2011 and rebuilding the school and he’s just done a phenomenal job as our principal,” said Duke.

O’Brian was the principal 11-years-ago when an EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.

“This campus was destroyed and it was about 14 million dollars worth of damage and we were very blessed at the time to have a superintendent Mr. Scott Cantrell that he took the lead in that and the school is still here today thanks to his leadership and the boards leadership,” said O’Brian.

It was a long journey getting Smithville schools back to where they are today.

“Our neighboring campus here; Hatley welcomed us onto their campus and welcomed us into their school and essentially through that transition process ended up saving our school,” said O’Brian.

The tornado was the biggest challenge that O’Brian faced while at Smithville but he said it taught him and his community perseverance. He wants to spread that throughout the entire school district.

“My number one priority is to be sure that we create an environment in every school where our teacher feel valued and supported because they are the superstars of our district without them we don’t have a district,” said O’Brian.

O’Brian said he’s thankful for all that Smithville has done for him and his family and is eager to be over all the surrounding schools in Monroe County.

Categories: Local News