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Peter Smith

USPA President


  • University of RI
  • Masters in Independent School Leadership from the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University


Peter Smith has over 25 years experience as educator in both the sailing and independent school arenas. He grew up on a small island in Maine and began his sailing career on the Sheepscot River as instructor, coach, and eventually director of the Southport YC junior sailing program. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Rhode Island, where he was a member of their national championship sailing team, as well as a Team USA medalist in the collegiate keelboat world championship. After college Pete continued coaching and qualified and competed in the final stage of the US Olympic Trials for the 2000 Games. Later, he was also part of several successful Melges 24, Farr 40, and TP 52 programs before stepping away from professional sailing to pursue his passion in teaching. He began his career as a teacher, coach and advisor at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore, MD, continuing his teaching career at Pennfield School outside Newport, RI where he also assumed the role of Director of Athletics and Head of the Upper School. He then earned his Masters in Independent School Leadership from the Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University before taking a leadership position at St. Andrew’s School in Savannah, GA where he spearheaded iDiscover21c, one of the first 1:1 iPad implementation programs for K-12 in the nation. As a result, St. Andrew’s moved to the forefront of institutions blending technology into the classroom to better support learning. Following the launch of iDiscover21c Peter has been a keynote speaker at several national conferences and consulted with several schools to create new blended learning environments. He is a member on the board of Lighthouse Coalition of Schools, a collection of schools dedicated to 1:1 learning environments that collaborates with Apple to better guide and support blended learning environments. Peter has a deep appreciation and understanding of the balance of blending emerging technology with traditional educational pedagogy, and his experience on winning teams in both sailing and education provide him with the unique background and knowledge base to lead USPA. Peter Smith is happily married to Kate Smith and they have three children, Graydon, Taylor, and Paige. When away from school Pete enjoys the outdoors, running around with the family, and anything that involves being on the water