Congratulations to Alicia Thompson – a homegrown talent – on being chosen to be the next superintendent of Wichita public schools.
Thompson grew up in Wichita, attended USD 259 schools and has spent her professional career working for the district. She has been an elementary school teacher, a principal at several schools and the district’s executive director of staff development. Since 2005, she has served as assistant superintendent of elementary schools.
Thompson has a master’s degree from Newman University and a doctorate from Wichita State University.
It is great the district found such a quality candidate from within its ranks.
Thompson will replace John Allison, who is leaving in June to become superintendent of Olathe schools. She will be the first African-American to serve as superintendent of Wichita schools – a great achievement.
Unfortunately, the selection process was marred by the school board declaring itself in executive session for more than a week so it could interview candidates in secret – a possible violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act. And though the public was able to complete an online survey on the qualities they wanted in the next superintendent, there was no opportunity for the public or teachers to meet with Thompson and other candidates and ask questions.
Nevertheless, Thompson is a good choice. She has the experience and skills to be an excellent superintendent, and she has a reputation for wanting to do what’s best for kids.
It’s also great that Thompson cares so much about the district and is so committed to Wichita.