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Steve Smith leaving APS for private sector; gets six-month consulting deal

By Maria Saporta

After three years as associate superintendent for the Atlanta Public Schools, Steve Smith is leaving the school system to return the private sector.

The APS Board of Education approved a consulting contract for Smith to help incoming Superintendent Meria Carstarphen as well as the many school board members to provide continuity during transition. He will be paid $114,300 during the six-month consulting contract.

“I am honored to have served our school system for this critical three-year period and to be part of a team that has had a positive impact on the lives of students in our city,” Smith wrote in a text Monday night. “I will continue to support public education even as I return to private sector work.”

In his role at APS, Smith has been working alongside interim Superintendent Erroll Davis with executive control over all areas of the school system. He has had primary oversight for communications, policy, charter schools and external affairs for the district.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Smith joined APS after starting his own business consulting firm in 2009.

Before that, Smith was vice president of corporate responsibility for Turner Broadcasting System Inc. He served as the company’s liaison to elected officials and community leaders, and he was in charge of the development and implementation of the company’s community relations and market engagement strategies.

Smith has a 25-year career in s 25-plus years of business leadership, including serving as director of administrative services for Georgia Public Broadcasting. He also served as a principal in the Fulton County School System from 1991 to 1997.

Smith is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia. He is a founding investor and board member of a $1 billion community bank based in Buckhead, Atlantic Capital Bank.

Smith has been or is still involved on the boards of following organizations: Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (past chair), Georgia Chamber of Commerce (past vice president, membership), 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, University of Georgia Trustees, University of Georgia Alumni Association, Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition, Metro Atlanta YMCA, 191 Club and the Atlanta Business League.

He has served as a gubernatorial appointment to the Independent Redistricting Task Force, and he was a mayoral appointment to the Atlanta Arts & Cultural Funding Task Force.

In 2010, Smith completed the executive format of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Terry College. The program included an international residency to Vietnam and China.

In addition to his MBA, Smith earned a master’s degree in educational management and a bachelor’s degree in English education from UGA.  He also holds an educational specialist’s degree from Troy State University.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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