Jeff Smith, principal of Harpool Middle School near Lantana, will resign this semester and intends to return to teaching, he said in a letter to families Tuesday.
Smith, 50, has worked in Harpool administration since the school opened in 2008, first as an assistant principal before being named principal in 2013. In his letter, Smith said he has “thoroughly enjoyed my time at Harpool,” but “all good things must come to an end.” Smith said the last three years have been challenging and “it has taken a serious toll on my physical and mental health.”
“As much as I love Harpool and the people, I have to look out for my own health,” he said in the letter.
Smith has lived in Denton since 1978 and attended Denton ISD schools and Liberty Christian School before attending the University of North Texas, where he received his undergrad and graduate degrees. He’s worked for Denton ISD for more than 23 years.
“Having helped open Harpool Middle School in 2008 and since serving as only the campuses’ second principal, Jeff Smith has made a positive impact on the lives of countless students and our community,” Denton ISD said in a statement. “His quick wit, approachable personality and rapport with students are undeniable.”
Smith said in his letter that after he steps down, he wants to return to teaching. He taught seventh grade science and coached at McMath Middle School for four years before moving to administration in 2002.
“This will give me the opportunity to continue to work with students, while giving me an opportunity for a needed change,” Smith said in his letter.
In a statement, a Denton ISD spokesperson said the district “will have a teaching position with Denton ISD available to (Smith) if that is the path he chooses moving forward.”