USD 259 Superintendent Pick Could Come Today

By: Natasha Trelfa Email
By: Natasha Trelfa Email

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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Wichita School Board has announced two finalists to lead USD 259. The position was vacated by longtime Superintendent Winston Brooks last summer.

Board of Education members Friday announced two finalists, both with ties to Wichita: John Allison and Denise Wren.

"We are ready to move forward," said Lanora Nolan, a member of the board, "I think we have two very strong candidates, a local candidate and one with local roots and we look forward to hearing from the public as to what their thought are."

Wren is Kansas State graduate and a familiar face around the district. She's worked for usd 259 for 26 years. She's served as a science and physical education teacher at Wilber Middle and Northwest High, assistant principal for Pleasant Valley Middle and Wichita Heights, and principal for Pleasant Valley and North high. She is currently the assistant superintendent of high schools. Board members said Wren's local ties helped make her one of the leading candidates.

"The search really narrowed it down to who they felt would work best in the urban school district," said Lynn Rogers, who's the president of the board.

Allison is also familiar to Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas and served in several administrative positions for the Shawnee Mission school district. He was the deputy superintendent for the Grapevine-Coffeyville district in Dallas before taking the superintendent position for Mt. Lebanon schools in Pennsylvania. Lebanon has a population of about 25,000 east of Harrisburg, in Central Pennsylvania. Allison's mother attended North.

"We had a good field of candidates," said Rogers.

The board said one other leading candidate recently accepted a position with another district but wouldn't say who that person was, or where they now work. The board sifted through more than 20 candidates. Members said their main concern is hiring someone who will hit the ground running and be able to lead the district through the tough economic times without sacrificing quality.

"They both have the credentials to do that and they both would be a good pick," said Nolan.

Saturday district staff, the public and students will get a chance to meet Allison and Wren at a forum at North High.
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