State education superintendent pays visits to schools in region
Illinois State Board of Education, ISBE, state superintendent Dr. Tony Smith visited Southern Illinois on Monday, Oct. 31.
Smith began his visit to the region at Vienna High School, where student council members gave him a tour of the school.
He then visited Vienna Grade School, where junior high students gave him a tour of the building.
Afterwards, there was a small group question and answer session, which included students, staff and community members.
His third stop of the day was at Century School near Ullin.
Smith was given a student-led tour of the building and then STEM students discussed the equipment they use, including 3D printers, and the importance of the program to their education.
STEM students and FFA members prepared a lunch for Smith and participated in a roundtable discussion. STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
For the most part, students asked the state superintendent of education questions.
They asked about his personal background, standardized testing and his views on agriculture and family and consumer sciences courses.
“I think they are very important,” Smith said. “I don’t think they should be optional, but they should be different in each school district.”
Smith said he tries to visit two to three school districts a week as a way to build good relationships with them.
He also emphasized that he is not a fan of state agencies: “I want to create systems that support districts.”
He also toured Cairo Unified School District No. 1, which was his last stop of the day.
Smith became state superintendent on May 1, 2015.