Lafayette High School’s Band Director Chris Smith resigned last week to follow “an opportunity in another school division,” according to WJCC spokesperson Betsy Overkamp-Smith.
According to Newport News Public Schools, Smith was hired as the secondary assistant principal at Woodside High School on Nov. 19.
WJCC will soon start the interview process to fill Smith’s position temporarily. The contract for the interim director will last until summer, at which time the position will again be advertised.
Under Smith’s direction, the Lafayette High School Band has earned distinction from the Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association as a “Virginian Honor Band.” It means the Lafayette group took a rating of “superior” – the highest possible – at both the State Marching Band Assessment and the District Concert Band Assessment.
Smith also taught at the Summer Institute of the Arts Music Program and judged state band competitions. During career, his groups have gained sponsorship from the Music Educators Association and won the Blue Ribbon Award for Musical Excellence from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Smith received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Old Dominion University. He has taught on the Peninsula for many years, including in Newport News, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, where he started as band director at Lafayette High in August 2006.