7 Questions with Craig Smith

Name: Craig Smith

Current title: Associate Head of School

Current organisation: Southwest Christian School

Craig Smith, Associate Head of School, oversees Advancement--enrollment management, fund raising, communication and alumni, along with financial and other administrative duties--at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth. He is a growth and turnaround leader for schools and ministries. With more than 30 years of leadership experience, he has served as president of three organizations, including helping establish a Christian university in Africa. He has volunteered for years in coaching, teaching, mentoring, and in community roles. He has traveled extensively for ministry and education including the former Soviet Union, China, and Africa.

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1. What have you found most challenging as a Christian school leader?

Balancing the varied demands of the job while trying to focus on the One who brought me here.

2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I have overall goals for the year, weekly lists and then use my daily calendar as the primary tools. Time is our most precious commodity and requires some tough prioritizing. I'm often on the phone the entire time of my commute home. Prayer and the Word throughout.

3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Your people come first in your work priorities. Everything else works after that.

4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

You're in Charge, Now What? The book helped me learn to understand my team's views and expectations of me at my first job as a Head of School.

5. How do you find and keep great Christian teachers?

A school's culture and reputation speak for itself. When that combination is right, the right teachers come to you.

6. What's most important as a Christian school leader for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?

When staff and students know they are genuinely cared about, they also care for each other.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a Christian school leader so far?

Seeing a student who had a rough time come back to express their gratitude and share their faith example.