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USD 259 Superintendent Takes Job With Olathe Public Schools

Sam Zeff
Allison signs his contract with the Olathe school district Monday night. He starts July 1.

Wichita Public Schools will soon have to begin the search for a new superintendent.

In a unanimous vote, the Olathe Public Schools Board of Education chose to hire current Wichita Superintendent John Allison as Olathe's next superintendent of schools effective next school year. Allison will be given a base salary of $250,000.

Allison will continue to serve the students and staff in Wichita through the end of the 2016-17 school year. He has been in his current position since 2009.

"Leaving Wichita is bittersweet...but this was the right time and decision for my family at this point," Allison said following the announcement.

In an e-mail sent to staff last week, Allison explained that his mother lives in the Kansas City area.

“Some of you may be aware that I lost my father earlier this year after an extended illness. My parents lived in the Kansas City area, where my mom continues to reside following my father’s death,” he wrote.

Allison said last week that a job opportunity that would allow him to continue to work in public education in Kansas while at the same time being close enough to support his mother was one he “couldn’t ignore.” 

He broke the news to the Wichita board just a few weeks after they extended his contract to 2019 and gave him a $3,441 bonus on top of his salary of $229,408.

The Wichita Board of Education will hold a special meeting early next month to begin the conversation about next steps.

Wichita School Board President Sheril Logan said Monday that USD 259 will be transparent as they move to find Allison's replacement. Logan says the district will seek the input of students, staff, parents, and the business community.

Another longtime superintendent in the area will also be leaving at the end of the school year. Greg Rasmussen, with Andover Public Schools, announced last week that he plans to retire. Officials announced on Friday that Brett White, the current assistant superintendent, will take his place.


Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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