State Superintendent of Education
Tony Smith is the Illinois state superintendent of education, appointed by the State Board of Education on May 1, 2015. Previously, Smith was the executive director of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, which annually awards more than $5 million in grants that support children’s development and education. Before joining the Stone Foundation, Smith led the Oakland Unified School District in California, where he helped improve academic outcomes, district finances, family engagement and organizational coherence during his four-year tenure. Smith has served in a wide range of leadership roles, primarily in his native state of California. Prior to being superintendent in Oakland, Smith served as deputy superintendent for the San Francisco Unified School District, where he led efforts to close the achievement gap. He also served as superintendent of the Emery Unified School District. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in English in 1992 from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was captain of the football team and also went on to earn his master’s and doctorate in the Division of Language, Literacy and Culture from the Graduate School of Education.