School superintendent travels great distances to get to know her district

By: | May 24, 2018

Superintendent Tiffany Anderson, who lives more than 60 miles from her office, arrives at Topeka Public Schools every day at 5:30 a.m. and leaves at 7 p.m., so she can spend more time getting to know the district. This came after convincing the district to change its policy that superintendents must live in the area.

Anderson also calls students who have consistently missed school and sometimes visits them at home. She additionally attends several church services in the district to become more familiar with families.

Superintendent Tom Boasberg, who has led Denver Public Schools since 2009, has helped increase the four-year graduation rates for Hispanic students from 30 percent in 2007 to 64 percent in 2017. During the same period, the number of Hispanic students taking AP, International Baccalaureate and dual-enrollment courses also rose, from 2,556 to 7,021.

In Denver, 55 percent of students are Hispanic.

Principal Curtis Wilson Jr. oversaw 88.8 percent of Benson Polytechnic High School students graduate and only .2 percent drop out in 2016-17.

Wilson, who has led the Oregon school for five years, received the 2018 Oregon High School Principal of the Year award from the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators and the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators for his efforts.

Austin Beutner, who has no experience running a school or district, will now lead the second largest district in the nation, LAUSD. Beutner has headed the LA Unified Advisory Task Force, and has served as deputy mayor and as chief executive of the Los Angeles Times.

As superintendent, Beutner faces rising pension costs and union pressure to raise salaries.