John Allison may be less than halfway through his first year as superintendent of the Olathe School District, but he has already received a top honor among Kansas educators.
The Kansas School Superintendents’ Association named Allison, 53, the 2018 Kansas Superintendent of the Year this week, recognizing both his contributions to the Olathe School District and his record of success as a longtime leader of Wichita Schools.
Allison served as superintendent of Wichita Schools from 2009 through the 2016-17 school year.
The Olathe School Board named him the sole finalist to replace former superintendent Marlin Berry in late 2016, and Allison took the helm of Olathe Schools this past July.
The Kansas School Superintendents’ Association wrote that Allison was nominated in part because of “unprecedented” increases in graduation rates in the Wichita district.
Graduation rates during Allison’s tenure increased by more than 19 percent.
During his tenure, Wichita Schools also partnered with Wichita State University to create a professional development program that was later recognized with a Council of Great City Schools education impact award.
Enrollment also increased as the district focused on “empowering all students with the 21st Century skills and knowledge necessary for success,” a release stated.
Olathe’s school board president Brent McCune said in a statement released Monday that school officials were “thrilled” about Allison’s recognition.
“He has impressed us with his unwavering commitment to student achievement, his professionalism, his track record of success in his previous district and his vision for the Olathe Public Schools,” McCune said. “This honor is well-deserved.”
As a state winner, Allison will now be considered for the National Superintendent of the Year program. He also will select a high school senior to receive a $1,000 scholarship at a Kansas School Superintendents’ Association event to be held in January in his honor.
Allison is a graduate of the University of Kansas and received his master’s degree from Emporia State University. Earlier in his career, he taught and coached in the Spring Hill and Shawnee Mission school districts.
The Olathe school district is the largest in the Kansas City area, with more than 30,000 students and 4,300 staff members.