Dr. Doug Brubaker began his tenure as the Fort Smith Public Schools Superintendent Jan. 18 with a commitment to public education that began when he was a new fourth-grade teacher at Birdville Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas.
His first day included meetings with the District Crisis Team and his executive staff. Human Resources staffers assisted him as he completed necessary paperwork. He met with members of the news media and finalized his 90-day entry plan. Then he joined FSPS Board President Dr. Deanie Mehl and other members of the Fort Smith Board of Education for a board committee meeting focusing primarily on the 2015-2016 Audit. Marc Lux, CPA, Przybysz & Associates, told Brubaker and the FSPS Board of Education that the District earned an "Unmodified Opinion" which is the best rating an entity can attain.
In his career to date, Brubaker said, “I've served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, department director, assistant superintendent and associate superintendent in several school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
Brubaker worked in Texas public school districts ranging from approximately 7,000 to 57,000 students for 21 years. As an administrator he guided the implementation of major initiatives including multiple bond programs, 1:1 technology deployments, strategic planning, curriculum updates and improved security procedures.
“The perspective I developed from serving as a teacher has been very valuable to me over the years. I think it's helped me to make better decisions on behalf of students and continue to see central office as a team that exists to support the critically important work that takes place in classrooms. I believe that perspective will continue to guide the approach that I will take in this new role,” Brubaker added explaining how his experience in the classroom will aid him as the superintendent of Fort Smith schools.
Brubaker also is committed to community service. He has served organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, local Chambers of Commerce, and Leadership Garland. He understands the partnerships needed between community and schools, and plans to host a series of listening and learning activities that focus on building strong relationships with FSPS Board of Education, students, staff members, parents, members of the community and local and state leaders. He intends to use these meetings to better understand the district’s strengths, challenges and opportunities, he said.
“Stephen Covey wrote that effective leaders ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ This quote reflects the approach I seek to take as the incoming superintendent of Fort Smith Public Schools. I believe that the district has been served by strong and student-centered leadership in the past, and I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders in the future to build on the district's many successes,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to getting out to campuses and into the community to meet the teachers, staff, students and community members.
Brubaker said he is excited to join the FSPS team because “of its focus at all levels on preparing students for higher learning or direct entry into the workforce after graduation.”
Brubaker earned a doctorate in educational computing with a concentration in educational administration from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in education, Texas Christian University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas. He has taught as an adjunct professor on a variety of subjects including curriculum, instruction and school finance for three universities and has made presentations at state and national conferences on a range of topics.
Brubaker and his wife, Heather, have been married for 18 years.
“My wife Heather and I also see Fort Smith as a great place for our family. The high quality of life and great schools here appealed to us because we have a daughter who will turn five this year and start school in the fall,” he said. “(We) are very excited to be moving to Fort Smith. We are grateful for the kind words of welcome that so many people have extended to us.”