Indianapolis Superintendent Lewis Ferebee will be packing up and moving to Washington D.C. where he was just named the next leader of D.C. public schools last Monday by the mayor. Ferebee’s departure left a vacancy that the Indianapolis Public Schools commissioner board has decided to temporarily fill with Aleesia Johnson.
Aleesia Johnson is infinitely qualified and the perfect choice to lead Indianapolis Public Schools on an interim or even a permanent basis if she desires.
First, Aleesia Johnson has basically performed every single role in a school. From teacher, instructional coach, to principal, Johnson has experience in all of the major jobs in education. This gives her a unique insight that should enable her to make decisions.
Second, Johnson’s current role is the role that most closely resembles the superintendent role on paper. As Deputy Superintendent for Academics, Johnson has already worked closely with Ferebee. She has already in many cases appeared and spoke as the de-facto leader of IPS, such as last week at a school choice forum. This experience should make for a minimal learning curve.
Third, Aleesia has the right traits to be a transformational leader. There isn’t any specific highlight or resume item I can point to quantify this. This comes from years of personal experience from working under Johnson at the school level. She has the unique ability to be both an emotional leader that can rally a staff and a strategic leader that can make logical decisions that pay dividends long term.
Aleesia Johnson is made of the right stuff to take IPS to the next level. She should warrant serious consideration for the job of superintendent on a permanent basis if she wants.