Saturday, December 20, 2014

Communities in Schools taps new leader

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 4/29/2014

A Communities In Schools of Ottawa board member has been tapped to be the next executive director of the organization.

Rachel Smith will assume her new role July 1 with Communities In Schools of Ottawa. She will succeed Becky Nevergold, who is retiring at the end of June. Nevergold has guided Communities In Schools, which coordinates after-school programs and helps keep students in school through its drop-out prevention work, since its inception in 2007.

“I think Rachel is going to do an amazing job,” Michelle Richards, 2013-2014 chair of the Communities In Schools of Ottawa board of directors, said. “I’ve worked with her on the board for four years, and she always has amazing ideas.”

Smith was due to go off the board at the end of this year, Richards said. 

The Communities In Schools board recently selected Smith to be Nevergold’s successor, pending approval from the Ottawa school district board of directors. The school board voted 5-0 Monday night to approve Smith as the new executive director.

Smith currently is development resources coordinator at Ottawa University, 1001 S. Cedar St., Ottawa.

Smith’s professional background at OU and experience with securing grants will benefit Communities In Schools of Ottawa, Richards said.

“Rachel lights up when she talks about Communities in Schools,” Richards said. “She is very passionate about [the program] and wants to grow it.”

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