TJCA Announces Michael Smith Academic Dean

Michael Smith, a native of Spindale, has been appointed the new Academic Dean at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy. Smith taught history and Rhetoric at Thomas Jefferson and served as the Cultural Studies Department Chair from 2004-2011. From 2011 until 2017, Smith worked at Christ the King Catholic High School in Huntersville, North Carolina, serving as Dean of Students and Assistant Principal. Since his return to Thomas Jefferson at the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year, he has taught English and coached the middle-school academic team. Smith holds a B.A. from Berea College, an M.A. from Western Carolina University, and an M.S.A. from UNC-Charlotte. He has presented at a number of local and state conferences on classical education, participated four times in summer institutes with the National Endowment for the Humanities, and served as an instructor of teachers at the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. In his opening letter to the faculty, Smith commented that he is “thankful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity at Thomas Jefferson, a school with gravitas; high standards; and a unified and compelling model of education that aims, through the pursuit of truth, justice, goodness, and beauty to help humans become the best individuals that they can possibly become.” Principal Dianna Bridges remarked that “Mr. Smith brings a solid foundation in understanding how to classically educate students.” Smith succeeds Jeff Ziegler in the post who served from 2006 to October 2018. Ziegler will continue to chair the Trivium Department and teach Latin at the academy.