Secondary School Principal
Building a Stronger School
If you walk into the office of Geoff Smith, Lincoln’s Secondary School Principal, you’re bound to catch a glimpse of an intriguing object or two.
There might be a red hula-hoop tucked behind his desk from a team-building exercise with students. Or you might see an acoustic guitar in a corner, ready for an Irish-tunes jam session after work.
And those Playstation gaming consoles? No, Geoff’s not playing the FIFA 2010 video game in his office. He’s keeping those safe for an eleventh grade game night fundraiser.
For Geoff, such activities are an integral part of his vision: to build a stronger school. Sure, improving test scores is a top goal, but Geoff knows that creating a positive educational culture is about more than just academics. It’s about finding a good balance between class work and out-of-class activities, engaging students in rich learning experiences that develop the whole child.
And if that means shaking his hips with a red hula hoop now and then, Geoff doesn’t mind one bit. But don’t worry, with decades of experience in international schools in India, Israel, and Indonesia, he’s got academics covered, too.
Geoff sees Lincoln students cross-training for learning like he cross-trains for his summer triathlons. “I want a culture of high expectations for students in terms of their engagement with school work and with thinking,” he says, “a culture where they are challenged by exciting learning experiences and want to do their best.”
As for the video game night, if you had dropped by the Lincoln campus you would have seen him there, deepening relationships with students and relishing the lively atmosphere. “I am very committed to the community here,” Geoff says. “I treat the school as an extended family, and I try to stay involved.”
With such a supportive community behind them, “The possibilities for our students to excel are endless.”
Living in Africa: wanted to be here since, at nine years old, he sent his older brother off to West Africa with a “Ghana or Bust” sign
Sunday mornings in Ghana: find him on his bike, pedaling training laps around downtown Accra
Loves about LCS: the emphasis on students serving the local community