Allison Named 2018 Kansas Superintendent of the Year

Oct. 23, 2017 ~ The Kansas School Superintendents' Association (KSSA) has selected Olathe Superintendent John Allison as the 2018 Kansas Superintendent of the Year. Allison began his service as Superintendent of the Olathe School District this July. Prior to moving to Olathe, Allison served as Superintendent of the Wichita Schools since 2009.

Candidates for Superintendent of the Year are assessed according to their professionalism, communication, community involvement, and leadership while meeting the needs of students. As Kansas Superintendent of the Year, Allison will now be considered for the National Superintendent of the Year program. KSSA, in cooperation with the Ogden Financial Group, will host a celebration honoring him in Topeka in January along with providing a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior to be selected by the Kansas Superintendent of the Year.

photo of Superintendent John AllisonDuring Allison's tenure with the Wichita Public Schools, systemic reform strategies were being implemented and Wichita's enrollment grew. Unlike many urban districts which have struggled with major declines in student enrollment, Wichita's student population increased by nearly 1,100 students since 2009 (up to 51,133 in 2015). He focused on "empowering all students with the 21st Century skills and knowledge necessary for success." As many urban school districts across the country struggled to maintain or substantially increase graduation rates, the Wichita School District saw an unprecedented graduation rate increase of 19.3 percent.

In a recent interview, Allison shared that he felt one of his primary roles as a superintendent was maintaining a strong focus on providing students and teachers with what they needed to be successful. As an example, in Wichita, he focused on preparing new teachers with the skills to teach and support urban students. Wichita boosted a nationally-recognized Professional Development School Program, which was a joint initiative of Wichita State University and the Wichita Public Schools. The PDS program was recognized at the national level by the Council of Great City Schools with the 2015 Shirley Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award.

A proud product of Kansas schools, Allison obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas and his Master of Science from Emporia State University. He is completing his doctoral dissertation at Southwestern College in Winfield. During his 30-year career in education, 23 in Kansas, Allison has had teaching and coaching positions in the Spring Hill and Shawnee Mission school districts, along with his time in the Wichita School District. Allison served as a building administrator in both De Soto and Shawnee Mission school districts. Allison has also served as a district level administrator in both Texas and Pennsylvania.

"As a Board of Education we are thrilled that Mr. Allison has been named Kansas Superintendent of the Year," Board President Brent McCune said. "He has impressed us with his unwavering commitment to student achievement, his professionalism, his track record of success in his previous districts and his vision for the Olathe Public Schools. This honor is well-deserved."

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