D. A. Smith High School
The first school building on this site for African Americans was constructed in 1939 and was named Ozark Negro High School. It was replaced during the "separate but equal" period in 1952 and renamed to D. A. Smith High School, in honor of its long-time principal, D. A. Smith. The school mascot was a tiger and the colors were blue and white. The school competed in football, baseball, and basketball. The Marching Tiger Band received superior ratings at state Competitions and performed at Lurleen B. Wallace's inauguration. Additions to the school include a vocational building in 1952, the gymnasium in 1959, twelve elementary classrooms in 1961, and a new vocational building in 1963. The old vocational building was converted to the band room in 1965. After 40 years of service, D. A. Smith retired as principal in 1967, and Otis Leverette became principal. The last senior class graduated in 1969. In 1970, the school was integrated for grades one through nine. Unsuccessful attempts were made to change the name to Ozark Junior High, but after complaints from the African American community, the name was changed to D. A. Smith Junior High School in 1972. In 1980, the name changed to D. A. Smith Middle School and it remains that to this day.
Listed in the Alabama
Register of Landmarks and Heritage on June 14, 2018
Professor D. A. Smith, Principal
Mr. Dove Alfred Smith (May 5, 1902-October 14, 1979) came to Ozark, Alabama in 1926 as the principal of the Ozark City Colored school, which was renamed the Ozark City Negro High School in 1939. A new school was built in 1952 and through an act of the state legislature was named D. A. Smith High School in recognition of Mr. Smith's service to Ozark's African American community. Mr. Smith started the Ozark Boy Scouts Troop 60 and also was a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He served as principal during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s following the historic 1954 decision in Brown vs. Board of Education.
His integrity and influence helped to calmly transition to an integrated school system. In 1967, Mr. Smith retired as principal of D. A. Smith High School. Mr. Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tuskegee Institute, a Master of Arts degree from Alabama State College, and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Selma University. D. A. Smith passed away in 1979 after many years of service to his community.
Listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on June 14, 2018