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Wichita School Board Names New Superintendent

Abigail Beckman
KMUW/File photo
Dr. Alicia Thompson has been named the new superintendent of Wichita Public Schools beginning July 1, 2017.

For the first time ever, Wichita Public Schools will have a female superintendent. 

School board members voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of appointing Dr. Alicia Thompson to the role.

"I am excited and very humbled to take on this responsibility," Thompson said. 

Thompson will replace the district's outgoing leader, John Allison, on July 1. Allison recently took a job as superintendent of Olathe Public Schools in the northeastern part of the state.

Credit Abigail Beckman
Dr. Alicia Thompson, flanked by members of the school board, addresses the media.

Thompson grew up in Wichita, attending schools in the district and later Wichita State University.

"I started as a kindergarten student at Carter Elementary School where my mom was a school teacher," Thompson said. "I worked in the district as a classroom teacher. I've been a building administrator. I've been in the central office where I started as a staff developer."

Thompson is currently the assistant superintendent of elementary schools for USD 259. At the urging of the community, board members looked internally for candidates before taking other action. 

"We could have done a nationwide search, we could've hired a firm, but I really believe it that it would have come back to Alicia," board member Jeff Davis said. "She is highly qualified. She's going to lead this district and she's going to lead this district well."

Thompson is also the district's first African-American superintendent.


Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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