Jennifer Smith, a longtime athletic director with Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), was recently honored with the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association (MSADA) Athletic Director of the Year award for District 4. Smith currently oversees the athletic programs at St. Charles High School, where she has been the athletic director since the school opened in 2014.
Smith was selected for the recognition from among other eligible District 4 nominees. District 4 represents Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties. Smith learned of her selection for the award in December and was honored by the MSADA at its annual conference last month. She said she was honored to be considered for an award that recognizes all of the hard work athletic directors do for students and their school communities.
“I am very humbled to receive this award because it takes a lot of work to do this job. Athletic directors work hard and have a tremendous amount of work to do. The recognition is humbling,” Smith said.
Smith began her career with CCPS as a physical education teacher at Maurice J. McDonough High School in 1998. She took on the role of athletic director at McDonough in 2005 after the passing of her predecessor, Lesley Cooke, who held the position for 13 years. Smith served as the athletic director at McDonough for four years, from 2005 to 2009.
At the start of her tenure at St. Charles, Smith was integral in launching athletic programs for a new high school. This included recruiting coaching staff, coordinating athletic meetings, awards nights and team schedules to organizing sports tournaments and monitoring student eligibility. Smith also helps to oversee the athletic boosters club and organizes regional events.
Smith is heavily involved with the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference, known as SMAC. She often is asked to host local, regional and state events at St. Charles and is well known among her colleagues as professional, supportive and someone who holds high standards for integrity.
“Ms. Smith represents the highest standards of integrity and professionalism that all athletic administrators should strive to achieve. She is always willing to help other athletic administrators with issues and offers excellent advice and support,” wrote Steve Lee, coordinator of student activities for CCPS, in a letter of recommendation.
Smith also has served the CCPS community as a coach. Smith has held several coaching positions, including field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. She also spent six years as the field hockey representative for the 3A South SMAC region.
In addition to her role as athletic director at St. Charles, Smith is the SMAC vice president and secretary, and state representative for District 4. She is currently working on her second master’s degree in human resources educational leadership and administrator certification through Towson University.
As the MSADA Athletic Director of the Year for District 4, Smith was in the running for the overall state award. She was honored with her district award at the annual MSADA Conference held April 28 in Ocean City.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.