Superintendent skips class to spend time with teenage girlfriend
February 1, 2010
BY KAREN VELIE
Last week, taxpayers paid for the San Miguel Joint Union School District superintendent to attend a symposium in Monterey. However, Supt. Dean Smith apparently skipped some of the meetings to spend time with a teenager with whom he is allegedly having an affair.
Smith, a former pastor, recently left his wife of more than 30 years for “Anne” (not her real name), a young woman he began “mentoring” while she was in the sixth grade.
According to eyewitnesses, on Jan. 28, the second day of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Superintendents’ Symposium, Smith ducked out after less than a half hour of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell’s speech to spend time with “Anne.”
Smith however did make it in back to the Marriott Hotel in time for the symposium cocktail hour with his 18-year-old date in tow.
“ACSA’s Superintendents’ Symposium is a must for all California superintendents,” the ACSA’s website says. “It is one of the only opportunities for superintendents to come together, share ideas, network and engage in world-class professional learning. The program is a balance of workshops and interactive sessions focusing on the hot topics facing the superintendency, including leadership, legislation, legal issues, budget, diversity and accountability.”
Smith, 55, recently informed several parents with children in San Miguel elementary schools that he is not in a romantic relationship with “Anne.” He added that he has spent time “mentoring” the girl because of a problematic home life.
However, several different sources have witnessed Smith and “Anne” acting physically affectionate in public and some have even snapped photographs to verify their claims. In some, Smith is walking hand-in-hand with her through the Wal-Mart in Paso Robles. A few days later, Smith and “Anne” were spotted embracing in a public place.
Prior to the woman’s 18th birthday last spring, Templeton school officials took their concerns about the relationship to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department after a school employee witnessed Smith picking “Anne” up from Templeton High School.
Although the resulting investigation found no illegal activity, some board members and law enforcement officials have wondered if Sheriff’s Deputy Clinton Cole informed Smith of the pending investigation. Just hours after the first report had been made to the sheriff’s department, Smith began asking school officials why they had made the report.
Cole, the officer assigned to the San Miguel Joint Union School District beat, has denied he is a close friend of Smith. Despite that, sources report that the pair regularly spend their lunch hours together and have also been seen socializing after school.
Smith, then principal of Templeton Middle School, first met and began spending time with “Anne” when she was in sixth grade in about 2003. One teacher described how Smith would ask her to treat the girl differently than the other students.
“He was very protective of her,” the teacher, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job, said. “He said she came from a troubled home.”
San Miguel Joint Union School District board officials have hired an investigator who is looking into the allegations that Smith has had an inappropriate relationship with the former student. On Feb. 11, the school board is slated to discuss the issue in closed session.