After a nearly two-hour executive session, the Benton District 47 Board voted Tuesday to hire Marion native Stephen C. Smith as superintendent.
Smith, who is currently serving as superintendent at Dupo District 196, will replace Jay Goble, whose last day with the district is Friday. Goble will take the helm at the North Mac school district. He has been at Benton for six years.
Board president Brad Wilson presented Goble with a plaque.
"Thank you for your six years of service," he told Goble. "You've brought our district a long ways. We wish you nothing but the best."
Wilson said he and the Board looked forward to working with Smith.
"He came highly recommended," said Wilson, noting that the test scores from the Dupo district were "very high."
Smith was awarded a four-year contract with a base salary of $134,000. Wilson said Smith also will get the benefits spelled out in the teachers' contract.
"We pretty much used Goble's contract to work with," he said.
Smith began his education career at Carbondale Community High School. He spent eight years there as a teacher, women's golf coach and assistant principal. In July 2002, he began an 11-year stint as the principal at Marion High School. He just completed his fourth year as superintendent at Dupo.
Smith holds a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from Murray State University, a master's in education administration from SIU Carbondale, and a doctorate in educational administration from Oakland City University.
Smith was not present at the meeting due to a planned vacation scheduled before the job opportunity arose. However, board members were in contact with him throughout the meeting.
"He just sent a text saying he is looking forward to working with us," Wilson said as the meeting adjourned.
"We welcome him to Ranger Nation," board member John Metzger added.
In other action, the Board also approved the employment of Michelle Snell as a kindergarten teacher, Scott McKenty as a special education teacher, and Mallory Martin as a special education teacher, pending progress towards certification.