Meet the Principal

Principal of smith high school, joe pouncy

Parents and Guardians:
Welcome to the start of the 2016-17 academic year at Newman Smith High School!
Newman Smith is a great school with a great culture. Our focus is simple…student learning and achievement! Our goal is the development of intrinsically motivated, confident young adults that believe they can achieve goals they set in life.
For over four decades the culture of Newman Smith has been anchored on keen teacher expectations, academic rigor and enrollment in advanced courses by all capable students. This is vital to prepare students for post-secondary study, the labor force, and to compete in the 21st Century Economy. Simply, all employees at Smith will labor to provide students with an exemplary educational experience.
The 2016-17 academic year will be marked with challenges as school personnel push learners to achieve on standardized tests like SAT, ACT, PSAT and state mandated assessments. But our primary focus is to teach young men and women what they need to know to successfully compete in a global economy!

Please note there are two curricula students must master to generate academic and personal success at the secondary level.

The first is the training that a student receive from home (values, work ethic, responsibility, accountability, respect for others, grit, etc.). The second is the formal school curriculum that a student receive at Smith and at the post-secondary level. It is vital that you assist your student in establishing a daily study routine at home. A student must get in the habit of checking homework off of his daily “to do” list each afternoon. Educators agree that when a student invest time in daily study (reading, reviews, completing assignments, writing, thinking, self assessing, etc.) he will receive powerful dividends throughout his life.

Please remind your student of a few simple suggestions that can enhance his/her academic success in high school.

  • Be Organized…In order to be successful a student must set aside time daily for homework, to review notes taken in class and to read textbooks/materials. A student should use a planner, notebook, or some method to organize his work. A student should use a notebook for class notes. A notebook with “pockets” is an excellent way to store schoolwork, assignments or a class syllabus. A student must take notes in class. All incoming freshmen will receive a free planner for the 2016-17 school year.
  • Know The Learning Goal…Ask questions! Be able to explain the learning goal in a particular class. Get a clear understanding of class expectations (how work will be evaluated/graded, etc.). Also, don’t forget to participate in class and make an effort to work well with others.
  • Learn How To Adapt To Different Teachers…Make an effort to adhere to different sets of rules, instructional styles, personalities, etc. Each teacher is different! Each teacher will enforce different sets of class norms. Work hard to develop the ability to recognize important information that comes from an instructor. Teachers give verbal and non-verbal signals when they teach vital information. Prompts like “write this down” or “this is important” or “remember this” are clues regarding the delivery of important information. Get into the note-taking routine. Review and rewrite notes daily. Learn how to self-assess your work.
  • Be Prepared…A student must set aside time daily at home for study and review. Please study or complete the most difficult assignment first. A home study routine can be anytime after normal school hours but it is vital that a student set and follow his study routine daily. Sensory overload negates overall comprehension during a study session. A student should locate an appropriate place to study in his home and use it! Also, please report to class on time and read  (news magazines, technical magazines, textbooks, etc.).
  • Be A Good Listener…Please encourage your student to focus on what is being said in the classroom. In order to take notes a student must actively listen to what the teacher is saying!
  • Dress Appropriately For Class…According to research when a student dress appropriately for school he/she perform better. Sagging trousers, see through/revealing tops on young women, mohawk hair designs are a few examples of dress fads a student cannot wear at Newman Smith High School. The Smith Dress Code will be enforced on the first day of class!
  • School Is A Formal Academic Environment…Please leave inappropriate language, behavior on the parking lot prior to entering the building.

The 2016-17, academic year will be great, if every parent and guardian monitor the study routine (academics), decorum and dress of their student.

Now a few words about myself.

The 2016-17 academic session will mark my 15th year as principal of Newman Smith, one of America’s Best High Schools.

The upcoming academic session likewise will mark my 33rd year at Newman Smith and my 28th year in administration.

In 1983, I was recruited to Newman Smith to serve as an economics teacher. In 1988, I was appointed assistant principal and later served as associate principal for curriculum/instruction. I am only the fourth principal in the 41-year history of Newman Smith High School.

I am a Dallas native. I received my formal training locally earning BFA and MLA degrees from Southern Methodist University.

If ever on campus please drop by my office for a visit or a cup of coffee…No appointment necessary.

My telephone number is 972.968.5220. My e-mail address is

Also, please attend one of my Parent Coffees this year. It is a great way to discuss “anything and everything” about Newman Smith. Please see the campus calendar on the web page for more information.

Thank you for sending your student to Newman Smith High School.


Principal Pouncy