The outgoing superintendent of Calvert County’s school system has been named chief academic officer for the Maryland State Department of Education.

The move comes less than a week after Superintendent Jack R. Smith, 55, announced his decision to step down in early August from the top post in the Southern Maryland system of 16,000 students.

Smith said last week he was leaving his position following a year of “personal events that have caused me to reflect.” At the time, he declined to detail job opportunities, but others in Calvert mentioned the possibility of a state-level job.

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery credited Smith with increasing the number of Calvert students enrolled in advanced placement courses and helping the system make strides in science and technology programs. She cited his seven years as superintendent and experience as a teacher, principal and administrator.

“Nobody is more qualified to lead our efforts to strengthen every classroom in Maryland,” Lowery said in a written statement Tuesday.

The state board unanimously approved Smith’s appointment Tuesday. State officials said the pay scale for the position is $109,000 to $146,000 a year.