Members of the Wichita School Board have named John Allison as superintendent of schools. The board voted 7-0 in favor of Allison this evening.
Allison is a KU graduate whose mother attended North High. He has held a number of administrative positions, and is currently the Superintendent of a school district in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Board members say Allison is the top choice to succeed former superintendent Winston Brooks, but add the decision was not easy.
"This was very difficult," said board member Barbara Fuller after Monday night's vote. "We had to look at the district, the community surveys... we had to consider what was best for Wichita Public Schools in the end."
"I'm excited and honored," Allison said by phone from Pennsylvania after the announcement.
With almost 50,000 students, USD 259 is ten times larger than Allison's current district. But he says he's not worried about the move.
"I think my past experience will help me as I make the transition to a bigger district," Allison said.
Allison beats out 26-year USD 259 veteran Denise Wren, currently Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for the district.
Reached at home Monday night, Wren said she is disappointed, but fully supports the board's decision and is confident in Allison's leadership.
"The bottom line is it's all about the students," Wren said. "We will work hard to provide quality opportunities for our kids."
Wren says she is looking forward to collaborating on new efforts with Allison.
Board president Lynn Rogers said it will be another 30 days before details of Allison's contract can be ironed out. His tentative start date is July first.