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Community Voices Clashing Opinions on Rick Smith's Future as Superintendent

While Smith is staying on the job, there are still mixed opinions on whether that's best for Hamilton County students.

Tuesday, people who work every day to ensure Hamilton County students are getting the education they deserve presented two clashing opinions on Rick Smith's future as superintendent.

Elizabeth Crews works for Unified Ed, a non-profit that advocates for students getting an education in Hamilton County's public schools.

She says the organization believes the district needs part ways with Rick Smith. For that reason, Unifed Ed is moving forward with its community meetings to discuss what they want to see in a new superintendent.

"I think it's imperative for the school board to rethink their decision," she said.

But, Hamilton County Education Association President Dan Liner says Rick Smith can be a successful leader for the school district.

"He does have the ability to do so," Liner said.

Liner says it's time for the district to deal with other critical issues such as low test scores and he's confident Rick Smith can do the job.

"It obviously requires a resetting of superintendent smith's relationship with the board, with the community, with the employees of Hamilton county schools," Liner said. "But he is a proven leader."

Now that Smith is staying on the job, Liner wants to see more action. He says first he thinks Smith needs to create a board of advisers.

"That could include anyone- from members of the chamber of commerce, to the various foundations to this education association," he said. "It's very important he form a team that is forward looking."

During today's conference, Smith said he wants to bring back the communication's department, which he eliminated in 2011

Crews says it's good that he now realizes the importance of that office, but it's too little too late to save him.

"I mean I think he probably never should have shut that office down," Crews said. "I think our community is hungry for knowledge about what's going on in the school system."

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