• D.A. Smith High School

    Dale County

    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 952 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 41 years of service. D.A. Smith retired in 1967, and Otis Leverette became principal.  The last senior class graduated in 1969.  In 1979, 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. 


    Dove Alfred Smith

    Dove Alfred Smith was born on May 5, 1902, in Newville, Alabama, the son of Aaron Smith and wife, Rachel (Maye) Smith.  His early education was at the local school in Newville and at Tuskegee Institute. He was attending Alabama State College in Montgomery when World War I started in 1918.  He enrolled in Reserve Office Training Course (ROTC) as a 16-year-old freshman and was later selected Cadet Major; however, the war ended before he complete any military service.He received his teacher’s certificate and began teaching in Alabama schools in 1926. He was made principal of the then Ozark City Colored School (OCCS).  On September 18, 1927, just one year after he took over as principal of the local school, he married Willie Sujett Burns, of Columbus, Georgia, the daughter of Ramon Burns and wife, Mary Frances (Andrews) Burns.  Mr. Smith and wife had two children. He remained principal of OCCS until his retirement in 1967, a service of forty-one years. In 1952, the school he had led and molded was renamed in his honor as the “D.A. Smith High School.” Mr. D. A. Smith died on October 14, 1979.

    The following is a tribute written by Judge Val L. McGee for a church program in honor of Mr. D. A. Smith:

    “Mr. D. A. Smith had that rare combination of talents and attributes which resulted in greatness: He was intelligent but not haughty; he was educated but still a man of the people; he was a man of principle but capable of helping those less principled without a loss of rapport.  For half a century of service to his town, to his county, and to his native State and country, he was a staunch pillar of strength and an unending source of wisdom.He gave 41 years to the service of education in the City of Ozark, when he retired in 1967; there was a chorus of accolades from all over the State of Alabama attesting to the value of his leadership in his chosen profession.  Professor Smith, as he was affectionately called by the thousands who knew and loved him, was a man called for a difficult task: he was a school administrator and principal during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s following the historic decision in Brown vs. School Board.  With Professor Smith and this gigantic problem, it was a case of “THE MAN AND THE HOUR HAVE MET!”  His reasonable demeanor, his warm personality, and his quiet stand for what was just and right were the exact qualities needed for his time and his profession.  His integrity was impeccable, and his influence was the most important ingredient in a transition which was marked locally by relative quiet and peacefulness.”