Superintendent Profile

Superintendent Profile
Sandra Smyser, Ph.D.

Work history:

  • Eagle County School District, Superintendent
  • Steamboat Springs School District, Interim Superintendent
  • Las Virgenes Unified School District (CA), Superintendent
  • Carpinteria Unified School District (CA), Superintendent
  • Solvang Elementary School District (CA), Superintendent/Chief Business Official

Highlighted responsibilities/accomplishments:

  • Leader of a school district that includes 18 schools and serves approximately 6,400 students.
  • Led  implementation of new Colorado Academic Standards.
  • Led system-wide improvements designed to close the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students.
  • Improved efforts to track individual student progress and needs.
  • Built partnerships with community groups while leading efforts to provide students with strategic and focused supports.
  • National leader in teacher development and evaluation.
  • Financial management during times of severe revenue decline and times of growth.


  • Bachelor's of Science Degree in Special Education and Elementary Education, University of Maryland
  • Masters of Arts Degree in Education and Spanish, University of South Carolina;
  • Ph.D. in Special Education, University of California, Riverside.

Quote from essay submitted during application process:

"Our compelling vision for the future must be about student achievement. I always insist that the vision we develop be centered around students and their success...I studied our student achievement struggles and met with staff and teachers...I met with Foundation partners and PTO/PTA leaders. I visited schools. I listened to district and school leadership. It was clear to me that the district was poised and ready to focus on achievement gap issues and embrace a vision of  achievement for ALL students." Read Dr. Smyser's complete essays in response to four questions on Superintendent Application.