'It did not hit me until I was on my way here': Wichita Public Schools superintendent talks emotional last day
It was graduation day for the fifth graders of Gardiner Elementary in South Wichita and with them was Superintendent Alicia Thompson, giving them some words of encouragement as they head to middle school.
While it's the end of elementary school for the students, Wednesday also marked the end of Thompson’s time with the district.
“It's been a busy month with graduations and field days and acts of kindness and just all kinds of things that we've been doing," she told Kake. "So it did not hit me until I was on my way here today. This will be my last official engagement as superintendent.”
Thompson is retiring from her role after 7 years in charge of Wichita Public Schools and 31 years overall in the district. Before that, she grew up in Wichita and graduated from the district.
“I started teaching in the Wichita public schools, that was my ultimate goal was to be a classroom teacher," Thompson said. "I never thought that I would ever be in the superintendent seat."
Thompson says she’s proud of her time at the head of the district, including hitting graduation goals and expanding the district’s technical education opportunities. While she is leaving, Thompson says the district is in good hands with incoming superintendent Kelly Bielefeld.
“I'm going to be cheering them on being their biggest cheerleader because I know that they'll continue to do great work because we have good people within the Wichita public schools.”
She even has a little advice for him saying “Always keep kids at the forefront and always look out for your teammates and your staffs in Wichita public schools because they're great people, and they do great work.”